There are few foods more comforting in this world than a hot, gooey, cheesy, buttery grilled cheese sandwich. I love to get a little creative with mine by mixing things up with different kinds of cheeses, veggies, and meats. I was inspired to make this version of the old classic when we made a nice, big smoked ham over the weekend. After eating ham for days, it was finally time to package up what was left to put into the freezer. I decided to set aside a few slices to make a sandwich when I was done. One last ham hurrah, if you will. Once I had everything wrapped up and put away, I got to work making what turned out to be this fabulous grilled cheese sandwich. I used whole wheat bread, but really, any bread would do. The saltiness of the ham paired with the sharp cheese was perfect. Add the sweet caramelized onions and zippy mustard, and you have one very grown-up, very tasty, and comforting grilled cheese sandwich. Who says grilled cheese is just for kids? Not this momma.
Smoked Ham and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 stick of butter, softened
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt
12 ounces smoked ham, cut into thick slices
8 slices bread
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Coarse grain mustard
- In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the sliced onions. Season with the salt and sugar. Cook for 10 minutes or until the onions begin to turn golden, stirring occasionally. Remove the onions from the pan, and set aside.
- Add the slices of ham to the skillet cook for a few minutes on each side to warm it up. Remove the ham from the pan, and set aside.
- Butter one side of each slice of bread with butter and the other side with the mustard. Place a slice of bread butter-side down into the skillet, top with three slices of cheddar, followed by a few slices of the ham, and a couple of tablespoons of the onions. Top with three more slices of cheese and the remaining slice of bread. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until the bread is golden. Repeat to make 4 sandwiches.
Yield: 4 sandwiches