From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
Michael Chiarello's

HAM PANINI

The chef and owner of San Francisco's Coqueta shares a favorite sandwich

HAM & BRIE PANINI

Serves 4 to 8

1 lb. Brie or Teleme cheese

1 loaf ciabatta bread

1 lb. thinly sliced applewood-smoked ham

3-4 tbsp. softened butter

3-4 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 (12-oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained (optional)

1. Remove rind from cheese and thinly slice. Cut bread in half lengthwise. Arrange cheese over bottom of bread. Layer ham over cheese. Place top of bread on sandwich; brush with half of butter.

2. Preheat sandwich grill or cast-iron grill over medium heat until hot. Place sandwich, buttered side down, on grill. Top entire sandwich with heavy skillet or large pan, evenly distributing weight over sandwich. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until cheese melts and sandwich is golden.

3. Transfer sandwich to work surface. Remove top of sandwich; spread underside of bread with mustard. Arrange red peppers over ham if desired. Replace top of bread. Slice sandwiches; serve immediately.

Chiarello's new cookbook Live Fire is in stores now.