Hot Brown Panini With White Cheese Sauce

With the Kentucky Derby less than two weeks away, I'm in Derby mode. This may not be the traditional Hot Brown but it sure is good, and fun. Don't worry if you don't have a panini maker, these can be prepared in a preheated grill pan. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side over medium high heat until golden brown.

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8 servings
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2 tablespoons melted butter
16 (1/2-inch-thick) Italian bread slices
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese, divided
3 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey
4 plum tomatoes,sliced
3 cups warm White Cheese Sauce, divided
13 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

1. Brush melted butter evenly on outsides of bread halves. Place, butter sides down, on wax paper.

2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon Swiss cheese on 1 side of each of 8 bread slices; top evenly with chicken, tomato slices, and 1 cup warm white Cheese Sauce. Sprinkle with bacon and remaining cheese; top with remaining bread slices, butter side up.

3. Cook sandwiches, in batches, in a preheated panini press 2 or 3 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with remaining 2 cups warm White Cheese Sauce for dipping.

White Cheese Sauce
3 cups

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in milk; cook over medium heat; whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Whisk in cheeses, salt, and red pepper, whisking until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth.

 

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