Ham, Apple, and Horseradish Cream Grilled Cheese
September 30, 2017 by Nicole Collins
We're taking the grilled cheese to the next level today!
I absolutely LOVE grilled cheese sandwiches. I mean, who doesn't? I feel like grilled cheeses are pretty much the first thing that anyone ever learns how to cook.
Besides microwave hot dogs, that is...gross.
When I was college, I lived off of grilled cheeses. My school served the best grilled cheeses that I've ever had to date. Well, maybe until today. Today's grilled cheese is at least a close second.
I had some long school days, because I pretty much worked full time and went to school full time all 4 of my years there. So, I had to be smart about how I scheduled my classes, which meant cramming as much as I could in to one school day.
And let me tell you, I started to look forward to my long days, because that meant I was having grilled cheese for dinner.
Well most of the time. Sometimes, I switched it up and had tuna, which was equally delicious.
I don't really know how to explain that grilled cheese. I used to watch the cafeteria ladies like a hawk trying to figure out what they were doing that made those sammies so delicious. They'd start by pouring something on the griddle. I know it was probably supposed to be butter (and maybe it was), but it certainly didn't look like it. It was like a magical sauce that they painted on to the grill before gently laying on that beautiful sandwich.
The cheese was just classic American cheese. Nothing fancy. But, there was plenty of it.
But, it was the crispy, crunchy, golden outside that still makes me drool more than 10 years later.
Those grilled cheeses were perfection every time. Never soggy. Always the perfect crunch to cheesepull ratio. They were just the things to get me through the long days. Gosh, what I wouldn't do for one of those grilled cheeses right now.
The grilled cheese I'm giving you today is mouth-wateringly delicious in a different way.
We're still going to make sure we get a buttery, crispy sandwich. But, it's the filling that makes this sammie special. This is more than just a grilled cheese.
We start with a very special spread that provides a little extra glue action to our sammie: horseradish cream cheese. I love that spicy bite that you get from horseradish, and the cream cheese helps to tame it. It's a nice background flavor that doesn't smack you in the face but that definitely make you say...hmmm.
Then, we're going to beef up our sammie with some ham and apples. (So, I guess technically, we're hamming up our sammie...lol.) The ham helps to add a little extra salt while making the sandwich a little heartier. The apple adds a sweet crunch that provides a really interesting textural component.
Finally, the cheese. I like a nice sharp white cheddar cheese with this. It's best to buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself. It melts a lot better than that pre-shredded cheese that comes in a bag. This is what makes our sammie ooey and gooey like a grilled cheese should be.
We lather the sammie in butter, throw it in a hot pan, and leave it alone while it gets golden and crispy. And sometimes, little bits of shredded cheese sneak out in to the pan, latch on to the outside of the bread, and get golden and crunchy too. Mmmm...
This grilled cheese screams fall, but honestly, I'll eat it all year round. It's just too good not to.
Even though I'll never have one of those magical grilled cheeses from my college days again, this Ham, Apple, and Horseradish Cream Grilled Cheese will keep me drooling for the rest of forever. And, that's a VERY good thing!
So, enjoy. And, let's eat!
Ham, Apple, and Horseradish Cream Grilled Cheese
Serves: 4 sandwiches Print
For the Sandwich:
8 slices white or wheat sandwich bread
12 slices deli ham (I use black forest ham)
1 apple, thinly sliced (I used a gala apple)
4 oz block sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 tbsp butter, softened
Horseradish Cream Cheese:
4 oz whipped cream cheese
2 tsp prepared horseradish
Make the horseradish cream cheese: In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and prepared horseradish. Stir until combined. Set aside.
Butter 1 side of each piece of bread, spreading butter from crust to crust. On the other side of the bread, spread horseradish cream cheese evenly on each slice. Place 3 slices ham, ¼ of the apple, and ¼ of the shredded cheddar on top of the cream cheese on 4 of the slices of bread. Top with other slices of bread to close sandwich.
Heat a small non stick skillet to medium high heat. Place sandwich one at a time in pan for about 5-7 minutes until browned and crispy. Flip, and toast for about another 5 mins until crispy and browned. Slice in half, and repeat.
*You don't have to make all 4 sandwiches at once. The horseradish cream cheese will store in a sealed container in the fridge for about 2 weeks. You can also shred the cheddar and keep it in a sandwich baggie in the fridge. Since the apple won't keep once it's sliced, use the remaining apple as your side dish. That's how I do it!
*I prefer to shred the cheddar from a block myself instead of buying pre-shredded cheese for this. I find it melts a little better. I also like white cheddar for this.
*I wouldn't recommend a sweet brown sugar or honey ham for this. The apple provides all of the sweetness we need.