Every once in awhile, I just get so happy that I finally learned how to cook. Some people might look at this recipe for French Dip Panini and think: What the heck? That's so simple! Yeah, it's a simple recipe, but it was very rewarding.
After a long day, it was great to put a yummy meal on the table in a short amount of time. Some salad, a sandwich, and some gravy to dip it in. Does it get better than that? Sure does not.
This is the perfect weeknight meal. Even though I cut the recipe in half to save some money, I still made the entire amount of the dipping sauce because, really, you can never have too much sauce. Trust me.
This recipe is from Every Day with Rachael Ray and you can find it online or right here, with my comments in brackets:
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 10 min
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups beef broth [I used beef stock, mostly because there is less sodium and more flavor.]
1 pound sliced roast beef
1 baguette, split lengthwise and sliced crosswise into 4 sections
4 ounces sliced pepper Jack cheese [I buy mine from the deli counter since I cut the recipe in half to save some money. So, I always ask for a sample of the pepper jack while I'm waiting for them to slice it. This, sadly, is usually the highlight of my trip to the store.]
1. In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cornstarch and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the beef broth.
2. Add the roast beef to the sauce and warm over low heat.
3. Preheat a nonstick grill pan over medium heat. Spread the remaining 2 tablespoons butter on the split sides of the baguette sections. Using tongs, top half the sections with the warm roast beef, reserving the sauce. Top with the cheese and the remaining baguette sections. Place the 4 panini on the hot pan. [I used the good old Foreman grill, but didn't leave it on there long enough to get the grill marks because I was too hungry and it smelled too good!] Weigh down with a heavy skillet and cook for 2 minutes, then flip the panini and cook for 2 minutes longer.
4. Remove the panini from the heat and divide the sauce among 4 small bowls for dipping. [I served it with a basic green salad and used my cute ramikins for the dipping sauce.]