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~ Grilled Ham-on-Rye w/Cheddar, Apple and Arugula ~

IMG_4908Can one ever have too many grilled cheese-type sandwich recipes?  The answer is an unequivocal no.  High-quality, super-thin-sliced deli-ham on caraway-seeded rye is one of my favorite sandwiches.  Crispy, thin-sliced apples with a chunk of white or yellow cheddar cheese is one of my favorite snacks.  As a fan of sweet and savory combinations, when I combine the two with a slather of apple butter and some delicate, slightly-peppery greens in between, magic happens.  It's perfect for Fall.  It's simple, straightforward and uncomplicated 'wichcraft.

It's simple, straightforward & uncomplicated 'witchcraft.

IMG_4844For two sandwiches:

4  tablespoons salted butter

4  slices caraway-seeded rye bread

10  slices cheddar or cheddar-Jack cheese

4-6  tablespoons apple butter

1  thin-sliced unpeeled apple, your favorite type

1/2  pound super-thinly-sliced deli-ham, your favorite type and brand

30-40  baby arugula leaves

sliced, dehydrated apple chips, or regular potato chips, for accompaniment

IMG_4846 IMG_4846 IMG_4846 IMG_4846~Step 1.  To assemble the sandwiches, place three slices of cheese on two slices of the bread (the bottom half, where the remaining ingredients will be layered), and, two slices on the other two (the top half) slices of bread.  Set the two slices of bread with two slices of cheese aside.

IMG_4856 IMG_4856 IMG_4856 IMG_4856~Step 2.  On the two bottom halves, slather the cheese with 1-1 1/2 tablespoons apple butter. It's tempting, but, don't be inclined to slather the bread slices with the apple butter first or bread will become soggy before you can finish assembling the sandwiches -- this is the right order of things. Place a layer of apple slices atop the apple butter on two slices of bread, 8-10 slices on each.

IMG_4867 IMG_4867 IMG_4867 IMG_4867 IMG_4876 IMG_4876~Step 3.  Layer 1/4 pound of ham atop apple slices, followed by baby arugula leaves,15-20 leaves on each.  Invert and place the remaining two cheese-topped slices of bread on top of the arugula and gently press with the palms of hands.

IMG_4879 IMG_4879 IMG_4879 IMG_4879~Step 4.  Wrap sandwiches tightly in plastic wrap and allow to sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes, so all ingredients are at the same temperature when grilled.  Just prior to grilling as directed below, vertically slice the two sandwiches into four halves and secure each half with a toothpick.  Using a pair of kitchen shears, clip each toothpick so it is level with the top of the bread -- this will make the sandwiches super-easy to flip over while cooking in the hot skillet.

IMG_4891 IMG_4891 IMG_4891 IMG_4891 IMG_4891~Step 5.  To grill the sandwiches, melt the butter in a 10" nonstick skillet over low heat.  Remove the plastic wrap from the sandwich halves and place them in the warm skillet.  Increase heat to medium and grill until golden brown on the bottoms and bottom layer of cheese is melted, about 3-4 minutes.  Using a spatula, flip the sandwiches over and grill on the second sides until they too are golden and the cheese is melted, 3-4 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Wait not a moment, serve these sandwiches ASAP...

IMG_4915... & enjoy a taste of Fall in every sweet & savory bite: 

IMG_4926Grilled Ham-on-Rye w/Cheddar, Apple and Arugula:  Recipe yields 2 hearty sandwiches/2-4 servings.

Special Equipment List: cutting board; chef's knife; plastic wrap; 4 toothpicks; kitchen shears; 10" nonstick skillet; spatula

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d2b2d8b1970cCook's Note: The best apple pie recipes aren't fancy -- they're special.  Just put one in the oven and see what happens.  Word travels fast.  Everyone wants a slice of old-fashioned appleiscious goodness.  ~ Nothing Fancy:  Old-Fashioned Autumn Apple Pie ~

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2019)


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