First off, no Regina, butter is not a carb. Whew, that's been bothering me for a while.
Okay, now that we've gotten those particular Mean Girls references out of the way, lets get onto the goods, annnnd there's butter involved!
Sometimes you really just want a beautiful grilled cheese to warm up your day/evening/middle of the night (I don't judge, midnight snacks are the best). With just two extra steps and some slightly fancier ingredients, I had a brain child moment via Pinterest (and running around Kroger) that led me to throwing together this badass sandwich: The Fancy Grilled Cheese - mixed berry jam, Serrano Ham, and some smoked applewood gouda all nestled between two slices of sourdough and then grilled within an inch of its life.
Ingredients, plus some wine that I decided to try out...murp.
Good. Gravy. This FGC is perfect for when you're in that salty/sweet kind of mood and just don't know what you want, or Hocus Pocus is on and you're in your fuzzy socks on the couch and have a date night with yourself (or that could just be me, whatever).
If you're the drinking sort, this pairs so nicely with a glass of strong red wine and some salt and vinegar chips (word). If you don't like either of those, I'm not a cop, pick your own pairings!
Let's get started
Ingredients: As always, musings in red
- Serrano Ham (I sometimes use prosciutto or speck depending what's on sale, but you can use whatever meat you like)
- Gouda or Gruyere ( I used a specialty gouda for this version since that what was on sale - and it sounded good- but I usually go back and forth between these two cheeses because they melt well and are pretty freaking tasty)
- Bread (I personally like to use sturdier breads like sourdough, but you can use whatever)
- Butter (Some people use mayo instead. I am not one of those people)
- Jam (Use whatever you like, I'm just all about this jam because I like the jar it comes in, and I had a coupon)
- Depending on how you like to do your grilled cheese, either heat your pan or turn on your griddle/George Foreman/whatever (I have a panini press that my grandma gave me for Christmas way back, so that's what you'll see in the photos)
- Butter your bread slices on the outside (meaning the sides your meat and stuff isn't going to be touching)
Check that butter action
- Flip those pieces over and spread your jam on the other side. Yes, this will get a little messy depending on what surface you're working on, just do it on a plate or something.
We be jammin'
- Cut up your cheese into slices for both sides of the bread. I'm clearly a heathen and don't know how to cut cheese, so it's in little pieces all over. Still effective.
Just look at my terrible attempts at cutting cheese.
- Add your ham slices. I used four pieces total, two on each side.
Don't worry if it rips, just throw it on there anyway.
- Grill time! I usually put mine on until I can hear the cheese sizzling off the sides or until it's nice and browned (notice I said browned, and not burnt. Big difference).
The transformation process begins
- You did it! Set aside to cool for a bit then enjoy.
Pro tip: do not immediately remove the melty cheese from the sides like I did. My fingerprints are probably gone now, but I can potentially pursue a life of crime in the future if I need to, so maybe it's a win.
This sandwich definitely isn't a looker, but like they say - it's what on the inside that counts. And these delicious, cheesy insides are a winner every time (unless you threw some weird ingredients in there, then that's on you. Shame).
Pickle for scale
I hope you enjoy, and if you do end up making it and love it (or hate it, it happens), give me a shout at @sociallystacia or tag me at #sociallystacia so I can see how you did!