Sunday, March 22, 2009

Very Venice

According to Giada and our friends who recently traveled to Italy, there is a very famous restaurant in Venice called Harry's Bar. Harry's is noted as the first bar to serve the Bellini and because of this has become a very famous tourist spot in Venice. In 2001, the Italian Ministry of Cultural Affairs declared it a national landmark.

Since airfare to Venice wasn't in this week's budget, we decided to attempt to recreate one of their famous menu items at home. The recipe below is a take on the Harry's Bar pierini which is basically a perfect hybrid of a grilled cheese and a deli ham sandwich. It is flavorful, rich and satisfying. The cheese spread is self assured - It pairs perfectly with both the crispy bread and the cold ham and it melts beautifully.

Venetian Panino
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis


8 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, chopped
12 ounces sliced ham
12 slices wheat or sourdough bread, crusts removed
6 tablespoons olive oil


Into a food processor, add the cheese, butter, mustard, Worcestershire and garlic.

Blend until the mixture is thick, smooth and spreadable.

Spread the cheese mixture over 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange the ham slices over the cheese mixture on 6 of the bread slices.

Top sandwiches with the remaining bread slices, cheese mixture side down, pressing gently to adhere. Cut the sandwiches in half.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Cook half of the sandwiches until golden brown and heated through, about 4 minutes per side.

Transfer to a serving platter and tent with foil to keep them warm. Repeat with remaining 3 tablespoons of oil and sandwiches. Serve immediately.


Anonymous said...

I love a hot sandwich! I will send this recipe to Robbie.

Yum Yum!

Your Sister,


Liz said...

Wow, it looks delicious!

We are going to Venice for the 4th time this summer but have never made it to Harry's... I will go and report back :)

Kerstin said...

Yum - what great comfort food! I love the last picture.

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend 'BigBear' who weighs 437 pounds could eat a half dozen of those sandwiches. I mean David Wyers, my obese (but lovable) lover and I really appreciated your sandwich idea.

Louise Bresci, "therealchiffonade"

MaryBeth said...

The sammie looks so hot, gooey and just perfect, maybe Venice will be in next months budget!!

teresa said...

Mmmm, I love melty sandwiches like this, gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

I love grilled cheese in general, but throw on a fancy name and make it this exceptionally and my head just might explode. MAN. MMMM!

Spryte said...

I LOVE sandwiches and that's looks AWESOME!!