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The Ultimate Comfort Food: Grilled Cheese with a Twist

January 30, 2012

Everyone loves a grilled cheese sandwich, right?  It’s the ultimate in comfort food eating.  When the kids are hungry, what’s quick and easy to feed them that they’ll enjoy?  A grilled cheese sandwich.  When you’re an adult and you come home and you’re tired and don’t want to cook, what’s quick and easy to make that you’ll enjoy eating?  A grilled cheese sandwich.  A grilled cheese sandwich can put a smile on the face of anyone from 4 to 44 to 99.  It’s good, it’s cheesy, it’s comforting, and it reminds you of when you were a kid.

Occassionally, when we make grilled cheese sandwiches, my husband and I like to mix it up so it’s not the same sandwich every time.  One thing that I’ve found that is easy and quick to add to spice up the same old grilled cheese is to add some grilled deli ham and tomato slices.  So, this makes it grilled cheese with a twist.

Ingredients are simple: bread, butter, cheddar cheese, deli ham and tomatoes.

As with any other grilled cheese sandwich, start with two pieces of bread, and butter one side of each piece of bread.  When the buttered side of the bread hits the flat top grill, it gives the bread great flavor and a nice golden brown crust.

The bread can be any kind of bread you choose.  Different kinds of bread will give your grilled cheese a different flavor.  I happened to pick up a loaf of cheap butter top sandwich bread at the grocery store.  But you can also use any type of wheat, sourdough, whole grain or any other variety of bread slices you have lying around the house.

Cheese is the next step.  Traditionally, grilled cheese sandwiches are made with cheddar cheese.  That’s what I use on my grilled cheese.  But, there’s no law that says you can’t use any other type of cheese.  In fact, my husband loves to have his grilled cheese with colby or colby jack, or pepper jack or even American cheese.  Spice it up and mix it up.  Do what you have to do to get the cheese onto the bread.  Turn the burner on your stove to medium high and get a pan or a flat top grill nice and hot.  When the pan or grill is ready, put each piece of bread, buttered side down and allow it to cook.  Cover each unbuttered side of bread with cheese.

While the bread and cheese are cooking and melting, use space on the flatop to grill up some of the deli ham.  Take a few slices of deli ham and lay them on the grill to cook.  Since it’s thin-sliced deli ham, it only requires a few seconds of grilling on each side.  When the ham is ready, put the grilled ham onto one slice of bread, right on top of the cheese.

Now add the tomato slices right on top of the ham that you just put on your slice of bread.  It only takes one or two slices of tomatoes.  Try and remember to take the seeds out of the tomato.  That will remove most of the tomato juices that could run onto your sandwich and cause it to become soggy.

By this time, your bread should be finished grilling.  Flip the bread that doesn’t have anything but cheese on it on top of the slice of bread that has the ham and tomatoes.  You’ve now created your grilled cheese with a twist.  The buttered side of both pieces of bread that make up your sandwich should be nice and golden brown.  Transfer the sandwich to a cutting board and slice it up to serve.  It always looks nice to cut it across the diagonal so each sandwich yields two triangle-shaped half-sandwiches.

Serve up the grilled cheese with a twist along side a bowl of hot tomato soup and the meal becomes a real winner!  Add a couple of parmesan goldfish to your tomato soup and you’ve got a little bit of cheesy saltiness to your tomato soup to go along with a little bit of saltiness the grilled deli ham gives to your grilled cheese with a twist.  You can never go wrong with grilled cheese!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Malou permalink
    January 31, 2012 2:26 am

    This is my husband’s comfort food. We call this “tosti” here in Holland. I normally just use cheese but I’ll copy yours next time with ham and tomatoes. 😉

  2. February 3, 2012 3:45 am

    Love this. First time I tasted and heard from toast in Canary Island in 1969. They were delicious. Since that we make toasts occasionally. Great post.

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