What to do with that leftover Easter ham? Make. This. Sandwich. April has been dubbed National Grilled Cheese Month, so with this recipe you can celebrate grilled cheese and use up your Easter leftovers in one fell swoop.
If any sandwich is going to receive an entire month dedicated to its splendor, the grilled cheese, or "toasted cheese" as my Midwestern mother-in-law calls it, is an excellent choice. It's hard to go wrong with a classic grilled cheese sandwich -- generously buttered bread, perfectly golden and toasty, with melty cheese slowly oozing its way out the sides. Kids and adults alike adore the epic, drool-worthy thing that is grilled cheese.
One of the many virtues of the grilled cheese sandwich is that it is utterly customizable, from the bread to the cheeses to the add-ins and condiments. While most would say that a traditional grilled cheese sandwich is made on white bread, I often opt for a crunchy, fragrant sourdough or a hearty multigrain wheat instead. Others swear by an old-fashioned rye. While my kids enjoy American cheese, I usually go for a sharp cheddar. If I feel like splurging, I might opt for an elegant Brie instead. Add-ins and condiments aren't essential because, as we well know, the cheese stands alone, but they can often be a welcome addition. Try tomato and fresh basil leaves with grilled mozzarella in the summer or crisp bacon and thinly sliced tart apples on grilled sharp cheddar in the fall.
I grew attached to the idea of using ham and honey mustard on my grilled cheese sandwiches several years ago, when a similar sandwich became a favorite of mine at a small cafe in Prescott, Ariz. Inspired by that sandwich, I developed a recipe and have been making my own version at home for years now. I look forward to making this sandwich every year after Easter when I have thick slices of leftover smoked ham on hand.
Honey Mustard and Ham Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
4 slices of your favorite sandwich bread (I used whole wheat), each buttered on one side
Cheddar cheese, sliced or grated
Thickly sliced ham, at least two slices (or more) for each sandwich
Honey mustard sauce (below)
For Honey Mustard Sauce:
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon honey (or more to taste)
Heat a griddle or frying pan to medium heat.
In a small bowl, mix together mustard, mayonnaise and honey until smooth.
To assemble the sandwich: place one slice of bread, buttered side down, followed by cheese, ham, and more cheese. Spread a generous amount of honey mustard sauce onto the unbuttered side of the top slice of bread and place it on top of your sandwich. Repeat to assemble the second sandwich.
Cook the sandwiches, covered, in the preheated pan until the bread is toasted and golden on both sides and cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes per side. Slice on the diagonal and serve promptly. Makes two sandwiches.
Maya Evoy lives in Nikiski and blogs about food at alaskafromscratch.com.
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