How do you Grill Ham & Cheese?
So how do you grill a ham and cheese sandwich? I recently ran home from the office and fixed one for lunch. It spurred me to think about cooking, my style, and how everyone does things a little different, even on something as simple as a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. See my cooking intro to know a little more about me.
Now to the Decision
I got home and looked around to figure out what to have. I could have just gone for the quick and dirty ham and cheese sandwich. Grabbing it all out of the fridge and slap it together. I did that the last time I ate this food combination. Then go and chomp down on it and lose myself into the box in the corner, spewing out pictures and sound until I needed to motivate myself to run out again. Or maybe I could take 5-10 more minutes and have a hot ham and cheese sandwich. Is it better for me? NO, I am adding butter. It is much more tasty and that is what I wanted.
I am not cooking some sugar-cured ham with a proprietary secret ingredient or making cheese. This is all food purchased directly from the grocery and Called to Assemble in a tasty way:
- Sliced Ham (Thin sliced),
- 2 slices of Cheese, your choice (I like pepper jack but had American in the fridge),
- 2 pats of butter, and
- 2 slices of bread.
I laid it all out on the plate so that I would have easy access to it as I started cooking.
Now to the Cooking
The equipment I dirtied for this includes; plate, butter knife, spatula, and skillet. I placed the skillet on the stove and turned on the burner halfway. I tossed in the ham to get it warmed up. I do this because I have found that if I don’t one of two things occurs:
- the ham does not get thoroughly heated during the sandwich grilling process, or
- the bread burns.
Both are things that I do not like in my grilled ham and cheese. Heat/cook the ham to your desired temperature remove and place back on the plate. Remember the ham is probably already fully cooked, at least mine was.
Next add one pat of butter to the skillet and slap one piece of bread down on top of it. I then used my fingers on the back side of the bread to swill it around in the skillet. I do this so that the bread soaks up the butter evenly across the entire slice. I grilled the piece of bread to about half of what I want in the finished sandwich. I don’t want to get to the final level of toastiness on the bread, yet. I don’t have to do it this way but I like adding this extra step when the butter is straight out of the fridge. If the butter is at room temp and spreadable on the slice of the bread I will typically go ahead and spread the butter on the bread and then go ahead with building and cooking the sandwich after heating the ham.
Now it is time to assemble the sandwich. First I put in the skillet the second pat of butter and top it with the second slice of bread. Again I swill around the bread to evenly coat the bread with the butter. Next I assemble the sandwich. How you do it is up to you. How I did it is:
- Slice of bread in skillet,
- Slice of Cheese,
- Heated Ham,
- Slice of Cheese, and
- First half toasted slice of bread.
I do it this way because I want cheese on both sides of the ham and on the toasted bread. Then it is time to finish cooking the sandwich.
Toast the bread to the desired brownness, flipping the sandwich with the spatula as needed. Once cooked to the desired tastiness place back on plate and eat. You should find the cheese melted and ham thoroughly heated through with this method. I like the results better than just assembling without heating the ham and hoping that you can get it fully heated through without burning the bread.
On this day I had a handful of chips with my sandwich, but this goes nicely with soup.
I had a tasty lunch. The big difference here is heating the ham prior to building the sandwich. Yeah it took me a lot longer to write this up than it did to cook and eat the sandwich. It might have taken you longer to read it than it took me to cook and eat. I hope you learned a new method to cook your hot sandwiches in the future. I did not drink ABigBeer with it because I was headed back to the office, but it does go nicely with one. I was even thinking later it would have gone nicely with a lighter stout say the Belhaven Black. I did sit back and relax while I ate it.
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