Roast Beef and Cheddar Panini

This was another quick and easy dinner that helped me get through June. I love paninis on busy nights because I can easily make myself one when I walk in the door and then make one for Mark when he gets home. Made fresh is always better, but it’s not always easy when you’re trying to cook for people on different schedules!

At first glace, this recipe looks like nothing special but the caramelized onions and chipotle mayonnaise really make it. Alongside a big salad it’s a fast and filling dinner option.

Roast Beef & Cheddar Panini
(from Williams Sonoma)
Serves 1

3 T. olive oil
2 large yellow onions, about 1 1/2 lb. total, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced
2 slices country-style bread
2 T. mayonnaise
1/2 t. chipotle sauce
3 thin slices roast beef
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 slices aged cheddar cheese

In a large, heavy fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are completely limp, 10 to 15 minutes.

Uncover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are golden brown and sweet, 35 to 45 minutes; do not allow them to burn.

Remove the pan from the heat and let the onions cool to room temperature. Set aside 1/4 cup of the onions for the panini; reserve the rest for another use.

Preheat an electric panini maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Stir chipotle sauce into mayonnaise.

Spray one side of each bread slice with cooking spray. Lay the slices, oiled side down, on a clean work surface. Spread the top of each slice with 1 T. mayonnaise mixture and a peice of cheese. Place the roast beef on one slice and season with salt and pepper. Top with the 1/4 cup caramelized onions. Top with the other bread slice, oiled side up.

Place the sandwich on the preheated panini maker and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the bread is golden and the cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer the sandwich to a cutting board and cut in half. Serve immediately.

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