A gourmet ham and cheese sandwich featuring the very best cheese for ham — Gruyere! Chopped ham, gruyere, and green onions all come together to make the best grilled ham and cheese ever! A quick and easy dinner time fix.
Busy schedules and long lists of to-do’s don’t always allow for a full-blown entree-and-sides kind of dinner, and us moms sure could use a little grace in the dinnertime department every now and again. When I am in need of a quick fix dinner, I can always count on the sandwich to come to my rescue. However, it would preferably be one worthy of the dinner table, and more specifically, one that prompts the family to gather ’round said table.
A GOURMET HAM SANDWICH
To take a sandwich from the lunchbox to the dinner table, the first change I like to make is toasty bread. And, the second change? Well, this is where the really good stuff comes in. A hot ham sandwich, loaded with stretchy Gruyere cheese and chopped green onions, is most definitely worthy of the dinner table. It’s practically a gourmet ham sandwich, but you are not going to believe how easy it is.
THE BEST CHEESE FOR A HAM SANDWICH
Gruyere cheese is the best cheese for a ham sandwich, especially a gourmet one. In fact, it’s ‘the cheese’ to use in a Croque Monsieur, the fanciest of all the sandwiches. If you’ve never had it, you’ll notice it’s similar to Swiss, has sort of a nutty, savory quality to it, and it pairs perfectly with the briny ham.
WHAT’S IN THE SANDWICH FILLING
To make the filling for this sandwich, very little prep is involved. A few green onions are sliced and sautéed quickly on the stove top, along with some minced garlic. Then, the onions and garlic go into a large mixing bowl, along with the chopped ham (you could use Black Forest ham from the deli or leftover holiday ham), and freshly grated Gruyere cheese.
Now, this next ingredient might sound a little strange, but trust me, it makes for one heck of a ham sandwich — mayonnaise. There. I said it. Here me out: First of all, mayonnaise is just an emulsification of egg yolks and oil. Egg yolks add richness to food, and oil…well, we use oil all the time, so nothing scary there. So, when you add mayonnaise to the ham and cheese spread, it not only helps to bind the ingredients together, it makes for a rich, perfectly textured filling. Also, people eat mayo all the time on ham sandwiches. So there’s that. The filling gets all stirred up, and it’s time for the bread.
USE FRESH BAKERY BREAD TO MAKE IT EXTRA SPECIAL
Speaking of the bread…you know how I mentioned that whole gourmet ham and cheese sandwich thing before? Well, we can’t be have’n gourmet sandwiches on just any slice of bread, now can we? Oh no. This is the time for fresh, bakery bread.
I just pull my grocery cart right on into the bakery section of the grocery store and grab myself a loaf of white bread. When freshly sliced bread is toasted (or actually “grilled” in this case), it get’s all crusty on the outside and stays pillowy soft on the inside, and it is ham and cheese sandwich perfection.
GRILL IT LOW AND SLOW
To get that perfect crunch from the bread on your grilled ham and cheese sandwich, you’ll need some butter. This sandwich just keeps getting better and better, does it not? Because the butter will be making direct contact with the skillet, don’t be tempted to crank up the heat and rush these cheesy temptresses out of the skillet. Butter has a low smoke point (the temperature at which an oil will start to smoke or burn), and in order to properly melt the cheese and achieve a perfectly golden crust, moderately low heat and patience are key.
Sandwiches for dinner can be a beautiful thing, but this one in particular? Well, beautiful might be an understatement. It’s quick and easy to assemble, and one that would most definitely prompt the family to gather ’round the dinner table.
A gourmet ham and cheese sandwich featuring the very best cheese for ham -- Gruyere! Chopped ham, gruyere, and green onions all come together to make the best grilled ham and cheese ever!
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Bunch of Green Onions white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
- 2 Cloves of Garlic minced
- 1/2 lb Thinly Sliced Black Forest Ham chopped
- 2 c Freshly Grated Gruyere Cheese
- 1/2 c Mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 Loaf Freshly Baked Homestyle White or Sourdough Bread from the bakery
- 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter room temperature
- Add olive oil to a small sauté pan over medium heat, sauté green onions and garlic for 2 1/2 minutes or until softened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Mix together ham, cheese, mayonnaise, salt and pepper until evenly combined. Stir in onions and garlic. Set aside until ready to use.
- Using a serrated knife, slice the bread into 1/4” slices. You will need 12 slices total.
- Place a medium-sized skillet over medium-low heat and allow to come to temperature. On a large cutting board or work surface, spread 1 tsp of butter evenly across the surface of a slice of bread. Turn over and spread 2-3 tbsp of the ham and Gruyere mixture evenly across the unbuttered side. Place a second slice of bread atop the mixture and press lightly to adhere. Spread 1 tsp of butter evenly across the top slice of bread. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. You should have 4 sandwiches total.
- Place the sandwiches on the skillet, two at a time, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until toasted and golden brown. Turn with a wide spatula and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan, cut across the diagonal, serve and enjoy.