Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Grilled Ham and Cheese

Grilled Ham and Cheese is a classic I tend to forget about. Usually Southern California enjoys summer through the end of October, but right now we have a cold snap (that means 60 degrees and some rain). So the other night I experimented further on a Curried Butternut Squash Soup recipe I'm working on, and Serrano and I had that for dinner with these sandwiches. I didn't grow up eating soup and sandwiches, but it's a timeless classic one should never outgrow.

Grilled cheese is pretty basic to make, although some people differ on what ingredients they like. I hate American cheese, so I never put it in my sandwiches. With ham, Swiss Cheese is good, but I also love Pepper Jack or Colby Jack. It's really up to you--what you like, and what you have in your refrigerator. Same goes with the ham. I like it for some extra protein, but it's also good with turkey, chicken, or no meat. 

As for cooking it, there's the fattening way and the healthy way. Since I don't have a toaster oven, the healthy way isn't really an option at this point. But if you do, just place your preferred cheese on some gluten free bread (I still prefer Udi's, but Rudi's is good too), place the bread on some aluminum foil, and bake it in the toaster oven. When the cheese is melted, put them together to make a sandwich. My Mom does this for breakfast too, sans meat, but she only toasts one piece of bread with some cheese. We call it Cheesy Bread--it's great for a snack. 

The fattening way is to pan fry the sandwich in butter. If you'd rather use margarine, go ahead. I'm not a huge fan of the taste, but food is a personal thing. I like to melt butter in a pan, cook the sandwich on one side for a bit, take it off, melt some more butter, and then cook the sandwich on the other side. It's not the healthiest thing ever, but if you're really craving comfort food it's quite yummy. I like to smear on some Dijon mustard right before I eat it. To add some greens, you could squeeze in some arugula or mixed greens, or have a salad with it.


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