This is a recipe I am completely in love with. I got it from Food Network Magazine (which I highly recommend if you’re on the look out for some interesting new recipes). I’ve now made it a few times – most recently tonight, which is why it occurred to me to write about it – and I cannot get enough of it. It’s a grilled ham and cheese sandwich gone WILD with carmelized onions, green apple slices, and a buttery pungent cheese (instead of mundane American). The recipe calls for taleggio cheese specifically, but its not the easiest cheese to find in a normal, everyday grocery store, so I used fontina instead, which I’ve been told is a comparable substitute. I’ve heard mild havarti is a good substitute as well.
This sandwich is buttery, salty, and pungent. The sweetness of the onions (I recommend white onions rather than yellow) and the tartness of the green apples (definitely use granny smith) are absolutely what MAKE this sandwich, because without them the flavor of the cheese would be very over-powering. The biggest concern with this sandwich is that it takes some time to prepare everything (all that slicing takes a while, and caramelizing onions can be slow going, depending on your skillet). And the second concern is that you have to be really careful when you flip the sandwich over to grill the other side or it might completely fall apart on you. It took me a few sandwiches to get the flip right for this particular sandwich – it gets really tall, especially if you really love caramelized onions (like me) and pile them on perhaps just a BIT too high.
In any case, I seriously SERIOUSLY recommend this recipe if you like grilled cheese sandwiches, and don’t mind a rather strongly-flavored cheese.
Taleggio and Ham Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 8 thin slices white bread
- 10 ounces taleggio cheese, rind removed, sliced
- 8 ounces thinly sliced ham
- 1 green apple, thinly sliced
Melt 1 tablespoon butter with the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes. (For a shortcut, use onion marmalade in place of the caramelized onions.)
Lay out 4 slices of bread. Top with half the cheese, then half the ham. Layer the caramelized onions, apple slices and the remaining ham and cheese on top, then the remaining bread slices.
Wipe out the skillet; melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-low heat. Add 2 sandwiches and cook, pressing gently with a spatula, until the bottom is golden and the cheese begins to melt, about 4 minutes.
Flip and cook until golden, about 4 more minutes. Repeat with the remaining butter and sandwiches.
AND ENJOY THE WONDERFUL CHEESY GOODNESS!