Grilled Ham and Irish Cheddar with Sauerkraut on Pumpernickel

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I had the best day today! My very good friend, Pam (marshmallow blogger Pam …) asked me if I’d like to go to a movie, shopping and lunch. I love the days Pam and I spend together. First of all, we love shopping for the same things. Second, we can chat for hours so lunch is always fun! Last, but not least, who doesn’t love a great movie with a great friend? Pam and I went to see “Love, Simon”. I had already seen this wonderful movie the day it came out, but was more than happy to enjoy it a second time. I loved the movie the first time and loved it even more the second time. Pam and I were the only two in the theater, so felt free to chat a little about the movie as it was playing.

After the movie, we decided not to have lunch because we were full on popcorn. It’s hard to go to a movie and not enjoy a nice, hot bucket of my favorite snack. Luckily, Pam feels the same way … movies equal popcorn. We walked around the mall and stopped in Pam’s favorite store, Sundance. You’ve probably seen the catalog at some point. Our mall, University Town Center (UTC) has just been through a major remodel and they have really expanded and added some amazing stores and restaurants. When I saw that Sundance was one of the stores, I stopped, snapped a picture and immediately texted it to Pam. I know how much she loves their catalog and now she can shop there any time she’d like. They have beautiful things. I found several items I’d like to go back and try on. Just a head’s up to Dennis :).

After shopping around for a bit, we decided to grab a Diet Coke and sit in one of the many new lounge areas in the beautiful sunshine and chat. As we were chatting, we were talking about what we were going to make for dinner tonight – Pam for her husband, Dan and their son Dylan. (Pam’s oldest son, Patrick is away at college. Patrick and Kylie have been in school together since kindergarten) and me for Dennis and Kylie. I mentioned that I was going to make a grilled sandwich using ham that I have leftover from Easter and Dubliner Irish cheese, with a mixture of mayonnaise and dijon mustard to spread on the outside of the bread, instead of butter. If you haven’t tried Dubliner Irish Cheddar yet, you should. It’s sooooo good! I find it at Trader Joe’s, Vons, and Sprouts Farmer’s Market. I’m pretty sure you can find it at your local market as well.

Pam suggested adding sauerkraut to the sandwich and making it into a sort of reuben. I loved that idea! I know a traditional Reuben is made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island Dressing. I’m making this one my own way though with the ingredients I’m choosing. The only ingredient to remain the same as a reuben will be the sauerkraut. I was just chatting with my sister on the phone and telling her what I’m going to make for dinner and she joked that I should call it a “Heuben”. Cherie is very quick witted and this immediately made me laugh. Isn’t that what sister’s are for, making each other laugh?! And being a built-in best friend and confidante.

I wanted to make an easy dinner tonight because I have a lot (and I mean, a lot) of reading to do tonight. My neighborhood book club is meeting tomorrow night and I just started the book last night. We are reading “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg. I’m on page 60, with 114 pages to go. I can do this – yes, I can. I got caught up in Reese Witherspoon’s Hello x Sunshine Book Club book “Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows” by Balli Kaur Jaswal. I started that one because my Thursday Night Book Club is reading something I just finished. I took that as an opportunity to read Hello Sunshine’s Book Club Selection this month. Since I was insisting on finishing that one before starting “Lean In”, I’ve found myself with much catching up to do in the next day – hence the quick and easy dinner.

This may be a good time to let you all know, I’ll be adding a second blog. I’ve decided to name that blog “Passion for Pages” and it should be up and running soon. It will be about my love of reading with suggestions for books I’ve enjoyed and those I’m looking forward to reading, as well as posts about what my book clubs are reading. Stay tuned, I’ll make sure to let everyone know when “Passion for Pages” is ready to be viewed.

Another store Pam and I stopped at today was the Amazon Book Store. We are lucky enough to have this store at our mall. I make sure to stop in each and every time I’m at UTC. Pam did find three books today, one for her son and two for her. I actually didn’t buy any books since I’ve bought at least 10 books in the last few weeks. I joined The Book of the Month club as well and the email with April’s selections just arrived … which one will I choose? Life is made so much better with reading. It’s my chance to escape and visit places I may never see in person and experience things I may not get the chance to experience. Reading, entertaining, cooking … these are just a few of the things that make me so happy.

For my grilled sandwich, I started by mixing spicy brown mustard, mayonnaise and a tiny bit of finely shredded Dubliner Irish cheese in a small bowl. This would serve as the coating for the outside of my sandwich.

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I spread the mixture on what would become the outside of each slice of pumpernickel. I laid the slices, mustard side down onto a cutting board. On the first slice, I sprinkled two tablespoons of shredded cheese. On top of that, I added enough ham to fill the slice. (I removed any fat that was around the ham.) To the top of the ham, I added a few forkfuls of sauerkraut and topped that with another two tablespoons of shredded cheese.

I put the top slice on my bread and placed the first sandwich in my cast iron skillet. I did the same thing for the second sandwich and placed that alongside the other sandwich in my skillet. I sprinkled the remaining bits of shredded cheese that were left on the bread board to the top slice (there wasn’t much, but why let it go to waste?).

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I cooked it on the first side for about 3 minutes, until the bread was starting to toast and I could easily remove it from the skillet to flip. Once I flipped the sandwich over, I cooked it on the second side for about 3-4 minutes (until the cheese was melted and the bottom half was toasted).

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I removed the sandwiches to a clean cutting board and let them cool for just a minute or two before slicing them.

Dennis and I each had a half sandwich for dinner … he enjoyed his with chips and I enjoyed mine with a simple arugula salad drizzled with about 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper. Dinner was perfectly satisfying and not too filling. Dennis will be able to take the rest of the sandwiches for lunch the next couple days.

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Ingredients

  • 4 slices pumpernickel bread
  • ham
  • sauerkraut
  • shredded Dubliner cheese (4 tablespoons per sandwich, plus 1 tablespoon for the mustard/mayo mixture)
  • 1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Directions

  1. Mix together mustard, mayo and 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese.
  2. Spread mixture on one side of each of 4 slices of bread. Place mustard side down onto cutting board.
  3. Place 2 tablespoons shredded cheese onto one slice of bread. Add ham, a few forkfuls of sauerkraut and another 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese. Place top slice of bread on sandwich (mustard side up).
  4. Place in skillet on stove and repeat for second sandwich.
  5. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, until bread is toasted and cheese has melted.

Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris

 

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