Panini are Italian sandwiches that are typically made in a sandwich press. You can achieve the same result by placing a cast-iron or other heavy skillet on top of the sandwiches as they are cooking. Taleggio is a ripened, semisoft cow's-milk cheese with a distinctive pungency. For milder flavor, you could substitute either Brie or Bel Paese.

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Ingredients

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Directions

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  • Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add shallot, and cook until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Raise heat to medium-high; add mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft, golden brown, and most of the juices have evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add thyme or oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

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  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Heat a griddle or large cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Slice bread in half horizontally. Layer each of the bottom halves with mushroom mixture, prosciutto, and cheese. Cover with remaining top bread halves.

  • Brush outer sides of bread with oil, spreading it to the edges. Place two sandwiches in skillet or on griddle, and weight with a sandwich press or the bottom of another skillet. Cook until golden brown on first side, 3 to 4 minutes; turn, and continue cooking until other side is golden and the cheese has completely melted, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer to a baking sheet, and keep warm in the oven while making remaining sandwiches. Serve immediately.

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