|Inside Out Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches|
For three semesters, my little sister Renatta has been living in St. Louis and attending St. Louis University. I’m fortunate enough to have my two sisters-in-law as well as my sister all living within minutes of me, and having Renatta so close at hand has been icing on the cake! We usually see each other at least once a week and while her motivation might our chauffeuring services and the baked goods I pawn off on her, I’m more than happy to oblige.
This semester she’s off on the adventure of a lifetime—studying and living in Spain with a few of her best friends, a college experience I never took advantage of and will forever wish I had! I’m thrilled for her (and thrilled to be the keeper of her nail polish collection while she’s abroad), but of course missing her all the same. Although I would’ve loved to take advantage of her baby whispering skills come February, what I’ll most miss are the simple nights of just hanging out with her and Julia, essentially continuing the patterns we established growing up, albeit now four and a half hours south.
These inside out grilled cheese sandwiches were the star of one such evening. We huddled in my kitchen one Friday night a few months ago, swapping stories from the week and gossiping about Jennifer Lawrence’s haircut (consensus: big fans!) while I prepped these sandwiches. The occasion may have been ordinary, but the sandwiches certainly weren’t! The insides are spread with a marmalade mustard mixture, and then stuffed with pickles, ham, and cheese. The goodness doesn’t stop there, however, because the outsides of the bread are then coated in parmesan cheese. The result is a cheesy, crusty exterior that gives way to tangy, gooey innards.
The other great thing about sisters, besides the obvious? They’re always willing to split another sandwich with you, when you’re simply too full for another but they’re too good to resist a few more bites!
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-4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
-8 slices sourdough bread
-1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
-1/2 lb sliced Swiss cheese
-8 oz thinly sliced ham
-dill pickle slices (optional)
-2 tbsp Dijon mustard
-1/4 cup orange marmalade
1. Butter each slice of bread and sprinkle with Parmesan, pressing down to help it adhere. Invert the slices onto a work surface with the cheese side down.
2. Top four of the slices with the Swiss cheese, ham, and pickles. In a small bowl, mix together the mustard and marmalade. Spread on the remaining 4 slices. Close sandwiches and cook on a griddle or skillet over moderate heat until golden. Flip to cook other side. Finished sandwiches should be crisp on the outside and melted inside, about 3 minutes. Cut in half and serve immediately.