When I was single, I ate a lot of “cheese” type sandwiches. Not necessarily grilled but cheese was involved. It was easier to cut a slab of cheese and stick it on some good bread, instead of hauling out a pan or two to make a meal. I have been dreaming about this Grilled Ham and Cheese with Rosemary Mayo sandwich ever since I had some rosemary cured ham a while back. I just never had the chance to indulge.
Now, I am not single, but Lenny was traveling this week, so I took advantage and slipped into my old ways of eating. Though I did toss in some healthy chickpeas and kale one night. The real thinking was that I was going to go a bit crazy as we are going to go back to our new found way of eating, which we still need to share with you. While I was strolling the grocery aisles this week, I went a bit crazy by tossing a big loaf of sweet batard into the cart as well as two kinds of cheddar and ham. Items that hardly ever see the likes of our kitchen let alone my stomach.
I couldn’t find that beloved rosemary cured ham, so I had the genius idea of making rosemary mayo. I love mayo with cheese, especially cheddar cheese, it reminds me a babysitter I had when I was a wee one. She would slather white bread with mayo and what I thought was cheddar cheese, it was really probably American or Velveeta, after all I am a product of the late 60’s. I do love that squishy white bread with a slathering of mayo! My ultimate grilled cheese is just perfect, thick slices of bread, slathered with rosemary mayo, piles of ham and melty cheese, two kinds of melty cheese.
To make the ultimate grilled cheese you cannot be stingy; I mean you are already going big, why would you start using low-fat, no-fat anything. Honestly, you should be going that route …. EVER. I like a grilled cheese that is gooey with cheese and flavor. I use a lot of cheese. Typically, I just grate some cheese and throw it on; this time I measured just for you. I also use butter or leaf lard when cooking my grilled sandwich, it helps to get that golden rich color and crispiness. Don’t judge, just go with it. Finally, the mayo, you can slather it onto the bread before grilling or do as I do and gently lift each slice and smear it between the melty cheese. Either way is the right way.
Recipe: Grilled Ham and Cheese with Rosemary Mayo
- 1 tablespoon mayo
- 1 teaspoon finely minced rosemary
- 2 1/2″ thick slices of bread – I like to use sweet batard for grilling cheese
- 1/2 cup of barley buzzed cheddar beehive cheese or your favorite sharp white cheddar
- 1/2 cup of mild cheddar
- 3 thin slices of black forest ham
- Mix the mayo and rosemary together about 30 minutes (or longer) before making your grilled cheese. This helps mingle the flavors.
- Grate the cheese. Set aside
- In a large frying pan (preferably cast iron) heat a little butter or lard over medium heat.
- Clump the ham slices together and place in the frying pan and brown until lightly golden and crispy.
- If you are going to put the mayo on before grilling, do so now by smearing a small amount of each inside slice of bread.
- Sprinkle some cheese on both slices of the bread. Place the cooked ham on one side of the bread on top of the grated cheese. Cover with the other slice of bread.
- Melt a little more butter or lard in the frying pan over medium low heat. Add the sandwich to the pan.
- Lightly butter the top slice of bread that is not being cooked at that time.
- After 2 – 3 minutes, gently lift the sandwich up to check if the cooked side is golden, then flip the sandwich over.
- Place another heavy skillet onto of the sandwich to press down. Cook until the other side is golden brown the cheese is melty.
- Remove from the pan, cut in half and then smear some of that rosemary mayo into each sandwich (this is if you didn’t all ready do so before cooking).