Pickles, A Love Story – Grilled Cheese with Ham and Pickles
We have almost exactly one month left until D-Day (departure day.) So with the impending move looming before us we decided to trek up North to spend time with family and visit one of our favorite North East climbing spots in Rumney, NH. We had two of the most beautiful climbing days I have had outside in a long time. The hikes and views were beautiful and the climbs were simply exhilarating. Returning to Dustin’s parents house, I was looking forward to cooking up some old fashioned comfort food.
Dustin’s family always seems to have deli meat, something we rarely buy at home, sliced and ready to go in the fridge. I was inspired to whip up something new for lunch. I realize that, for me, this is a fairly simple recipe and a bit of a departure from my normal, more intricate posts but it was so incredibly deletable I just had to share!
I will admit I am somewhat slightly obsessed with pickles. For this recipe I like a fresh, Jewish deli style garlic pickle. The ones I used were extremely fresh, less vinegary and tasted more cucumber-y than your average kosher dill variety. Use these if at all possible as they impart a certain freshness to the dish that a more garlicky and acidic variety would not.
This buttery bread bomb lands squarely between a Classic grilled ham and cheese and its up market cousin, a Cuban style panini. The smoked deli ham imparts a nice hickory flavor which is mellowed out by the buttery bread and creamy cheese. Thinly sliced pickles add a subtle twang while whole grain mustard provides a punchy finish. As I like my grilled cheeses piping hot, after searing the bread in a pan, I popped the sandwich into a preheated oven to finish it off and bring the ham and pickles up to temp.
Serve this along side a summery slaw and good quality kettle chips for an unbeatable deli-style summer lunch.
Grilled Cheese with Ham and Pickles
2 Slices of Good Sourdough Bread
1 TSP Good Grainy Mustard
2 Slices of Provolone Cheese Preferably Sharp (Sliced at Medium Thickness)
2 Slices Smoked Deli Ham (Sliced at Medium Thickness)
1 Fresh Kirby Sized Garlic Pickle Sliced into Thin Rounds
Freshly Ground Pepper
2 TSP Unsalted Butter
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Start by assembling your sandwich. Lay your two slices of bread on a plate. On one half spread your TSP of Grainy Mustard then top that with a slice of the provolone, on the other half lay down the second slice of cheese, ham slices and pickles. Grind on a turn or two of freshly ground pepper before carefully flipping mustarded-ed half on top of the pickles to close the sandwich.
Heat a small oven proof skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot drop in on TSP of the butter. Once the butter has melted place the grilled cheese in the pan to sear the outside. Cook the grilled cheese until the underbelly is golden. Carefully lift the sandwich with a spatula and suspend over the pan while you drop in the second TSP of butter. Sear this second side until this too is golden. Place the entire pan in the oven and cook for 3 mins. Flip GC and cook 3 mins longer. Check to make sure the center is warm. Remove your steamy and now gooey GC from the oven slice in half, arrange on a plate and serve with sumptuous sides of your choice.