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Perfect spring inspired Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. Made with quality ingredients & in-season fruit for depth of flavor and a light touch of spring.
Spring Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
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Here we have a recipe for the most delicious grilled cheese sandwiches ever! Using thick and fresh Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse™ Hearty White Bread, creamy delicious Gruyere Cheese, and Hillshire Farm® Thin Sliced Honey Ham; Our sandwich is simple but turned gourmet when we add fruit, slather the outside with Hellmann’s® Real Mayonnaise and grill that baby to perfection.
One of my favorite memories from growing up was my mom’s picnic basket. It was a rectangular shaped wicker basket with red and white picnic print fabric on the inside. Mom would fill that basket with a secret treat, delicious sandwiches, crisp apples and tart cherries. Then my younger sister Christa and I would go on grand adventures to the stream, the big pine tree with exposed roots, or atop the haystack in the barn; depending upon who we fancied we were that day.
On warm spring days, Mom would always leave the fruit out of the basket because she knew we were pirates that day and we would be picnicking at the stream, toes in the water and then climbing the apricot trees and gorging ourselves on the fresh ripe apricots.
When I think spring, I think “Apricots, Sandwiches and Picnics”. Which as you can tell, totally inspired my post today.
Sandwiches in the spring
Let’s talk sandwiches! Nothing’s better than a warm day, a cool breeze and a hearty classic sandwich made light and unique with in-season fruit. I especially love good grilled cheese sandwiches. This iconic sandwich staple was a fixture of my youth and always invokes happy thoughts and memories of the innocent comforts of youth.
As an adult now, I still factor Grilled Cheese Sandwiches into my good memory making adventures and spring meal planning.
Picture this, a beautiful spring day, good friends, and a classy grilled cheese lunch on the back patio… But wait! These aren’t your average grilled cheese sandwiches. Spring is here so let’s welcome it with a bang; Ham, Brie, and Apricot Grilled Cheese Sandwiches on hearty white bread.
I’ll provide the quick, easy, and oh-so-delicious spring inspired Grilled Cheese Sandwiches recipe; you provide the patio and friends.
Y’all we should hug this warm weather and say “Welcome Spring!”
Quality Ingredients are Key
In the cooking world, we call the ingredients we use “product”. Often times, if you have better product than your “competition”, then you will be the better chef. I’m fairly certain that the fastest way to becoming a better cook than you currently are is to buy better ingredients.
Now does that mean you should be ordering your wines and oils from Italy and your breads and pastry flours from France? No. No, I just mean that you should pay attention to the quality of the product you are purchasing.
You may or may not remember from my Shallot topped Filet Mignon post, when I informed you that I will only ever represent products and brands that I personally approve of and love. That statement still holds true.
Great Product + A Great Recipe = Great Cooking
I was asked by Pepperidge Farm®, Hillshire Farm®, and Hellmann’s® Real Mayonnaise to create a simple spring-inspired sandwich using their ingredients. I jumped all over this opportunity because I do love the quality and authenticity of these particular ingredients and use them often in many of my dishes.
Pepperidge Farm makes a myriad of products. I can remember my mom every now and then surprising us with Pepperidge Farm cookies in our picnic lunches. As the grown up now packing the picnic lunches in my own household, I still use Pepperidge Farm products. I love the way they double bag the breads for freshness. It has the feel and taste of having just come from the baker. Farmhouse Hearty White turns a simple grilled cheese sandwich into something extraordinary!
In this “extraordinary” sandwich we take “Grilled Cheese” to the next level by adding Hillshire Farm® Thin Sliced Honey Ham lunch meat. This ham is slow roasted for hours and contains no artificial flavors and no by-products; which is why it tastes so darn good and why I think it’s a must in our delicious grilled cheese sandwiches.
Now we find some good apricots. Smell them for sweetness, however you should also make sure they aren’t too soft or they’ll be mush on the inside. Some fun alternatives to consider if you are unable to find the apricots are apricot jam or fresh yellow nectarines and peaches.
Fun fact: Using Hellmann’s® Real Mayonnaise on the outside of the grilled cheese sandwich bread, rather than butter, gives it a richer tasting and more beautiful golden brown color.
Finally, our last ingredient; the cheese. I suggest a good Gruyere or Gouda.
For other fun spring sandwich ideas, check out this link.
Okay, enough talk, let’s eat grilled cheese sandwiches!
Recipe for Ham, Gruyere, and Apricot Grilled Cheese Sandwiches:
- 8 Slices Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse™ Hearty White Bread
- 8 slices Hillshire Farm® Thin Sliced Honey Ham
- 8-10 ounces Gruyere or Gouda Cheese
- 2 Apricots, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
- Approximately 8 Tablespoons Hellmann's® Real Mayonnaise
- *Optional Ingredients to intensify flavors Include but are not limited to: Fresh thyme leaves, Arugula or watercress, sriracha, balsamic vinegar, soy, wasabi, and even maple or honey.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Lay 4 slices of Bread on your work surface and Divide 1/2 the cheese among and atop them.
- Then divide all of the ham and apricot slices evenly among and atop the cheese topped bread slices.
- Now cover the Ham and Apricot with the leftover cheese.
- On the remaining 4 slices of Bread, slather a good layer of mayonnaise.
- Put these Mayonnaise side up atop the covered pieces of bread.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the sandwich, mayonnaise side down on the skillet, and cook the first side until lightly browned (approximately 1.5 minutes).
- While the sandwich is cooking, slather mayonnaise on the slice of bread that is currently face-up.
- Turn the sandwiches over and brown the second side for approximately 40 seconds.
- Transfer sandwiches to a baking sheet as you complete them.
- Put the baking sheet in the oven to continue cooking and melting the cheese without over-browning the bread (approximately 2.5 minutes).
- Transfer sandwiches to a cutting board and cut each sandwich to the size and shape you desire. I usually cut mine into fourths.
- Serve and Enjoy!
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