Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Best Grilled Cheese...From Left-over Ham

Hi everybody!  I know you haven’t celebrated Easter yet, so obviously…you don’t know if you will have leftovers or not……but I still have a ton of ham.  Remember, I made my Easter ham last week so I could show you a really good recipe.  It was huge.  We have had ham in every way, shape and form you could imagine.  My favorite ham meal that we had was a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.  It was on sourdough bread, and it was piled high with leftover ham, Swiss cheese, cream cheese, spinach and Gourmet Rooster Caramelized Onion and Chardonnay Spread.  I will show you how I made it because if you have leftover ham after Easter, which I’m willing to bet you will, you have to make this.  You have to.

There is a food truck here in town called GourMelt.  They make a million different kinds of grilled cheeses.  They use cream cheese on a few of them, and that is right up my alley.  This sandwich is kind of an homage to them since it has cream cheese on it.  I would eat cream cheese on virtually anything.

If you haven’t been to GourMelt….you must find them.  If you don’t live in Reno….you will have to make this sandwich and pretend.

Like I just said, I used sourdough bread, leftover ham, Swiss cheese, cream cheese, Dijon mustard, spinach and Gourmet Rooster Caramelized Onion and Chardonnay Spread. 

Here is a helpful hint:  When you are putting away your leftover Easter ham….portion it out into storage containers or plastic bags.  It is so much easier to separate it from the get go then always pulling a huge container out of the freezer.

I started by grating my cheese in my food processor.  Obviously, if you buy your cheese grated…..skip this step.

Swiss cheese works so well with ham.  Fontina does too if you aren’t a Swiss lover.  Even if you don't love the Swiss, you must at least be neutral.  Get it?  Neutral?  Ha.

I switched blades and tossed the cream cheese and Onion Spread into the food processor.  I blended this until mixed.  It won’t be smooth because the stuff in it is too chunky.

If you don’t have a food processor, mix this in a bowl.  If your cream cheese is soft it will be easy.  Not as easy as using a food processor, but still….kinda easy.

I started by spreading Dijon mustard on one piece of bread.  I will show you how to make one sandwich.  I have faith that you can take it from there.

Next, I spread my crazy good cheese spread on each piece of bread.  This will be the “glue” so I put it on both sides.

Next comes the ham and spinach.  I felt the sandwich needed some green, so I went with spinach.  Watercress or arugula would work well too.

 Is my shadow seriously in the bottom of most of these pictures?  Creepy.

I spread butter on the outsides of the sandwich.  This will help it brown nicely.

Finally, into the Panini maker.  Oh wait, that’s right….I don’t have a Panini maker.  I improvised and used my Lean Mean Grilling Machine.  Same concept really.  If you don’t have either of these….use a frying pan.

So, so good.  The cheeses, onion spread and ham are a marriage made in heaven.  And look how well the Lean Mean Grilling Machine did!  This sandwich is ooey-gooey goodness on a plate.

Look at the cheese!  You know you want this.  If you think that you are on the road to no leftover ham…..hoard that stuff.

So next week my kids are on Spring Break.  I will be in CA visiting my mom.  With the kids.  I’m not ditching them for Spring Break.  I will be taking a wee break from blogging next week, but I will be back with new recipes on April 17th.  I will re-post some favorites from last year during next week so you can still get your fix;)

Grilled Ham and Cheese…Done Right

8 slices sourdough

¼ cup Dijon mustard

6 ounces Swiss Cheese, grated

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

3 ounces Gourmet Rooster Caramelized Onion and Chardonnay Spread

½ lb. sliced ham

1 cup baby spinach

Butter for Grilling

Add the grated cheese, cream cheese and onion spread to the food processor.  Blend until mixed.

Spread out bread.  Divide mustard evenly over half the slices.  Assemble sandwiches with cheese spread, ham and spinach.

Spread butter on the outside of each slice.  Grill or fry until sandwiches are golden brown and cheese is melted.

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