Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Grilled Cheese with Country Ham, Leeks, and Tomato Jam

Sweet and salty, tangy and gooey, this grilled cheese sandwich with country ham, leeks, and tomato jam hits all the right notes.

Grilled Cheese with Country Ham, Leeks, and Tomato Jam | Farm Fresh Feasts

You ever make a large quantity of a condiment, and then not know what to do with it? Yeah, that happened to me, too.  I had so many tomatoes that after putting up crushed tomatoes, seasoned and plain tomato sauce, green tomato bacon jam and salsa . . . whew . . . I decided to try making tomato jam.
I got the idea, and the recipe, from Marisa's first cookbook, Food In Jars (link to her eponymous website--hey, did I use that word correctly? Do I get points?).  Tomato jam sounded like something I ought to try, and since I'd nearly filled up my pantry with other tomato products I gave it a go.  It was easy because Marisa's directions are clear and simple to understand, she anticipates my questions and answers them before I think to say 'but, what about . . .'.  I got her book out of my local library.
In a ham sandwich, tomato jam just sings.  The sweetness of the jam perfectly balances the saltiness of a slice of ham, and you bet I'll be blowing through a jar eating Easter ham leftovers*. But tomato jam with a chicken sandwich? It's not that terrific. Turkey? Um, no thanks. I needed to get creative.

Grilled Cheese with Country Ham, Leeks, and Tomato Jam | Farm Fresh Feasts

After I used country ham and leeks on a pizza, with asparagus and egg, I was inspired to try that combination of country ham and leeks in a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato jam.  Bingo!  The combination of salty bits of country ham [I like to bite my sandwich neatly, and not have the entire piece of meat pull out from between the bread, so I diced it] and sweet and tangy tomato jam is excellent. Add leeks, cheddar, and a griddle and you're golden.  Serve it alongside creamy tomato soup and you'll have such a sense of accomplishment, a la The Little Red Hen (and no shortage of folks to help you eat it!)--Amazon affiliate link if you're not familiar with the book.
Grilled Cheese with Country Ham, Leeks, and Tomato Jam | Farm Fresh Feasts
Grilled Cheese with Country Ham, Leeks, and Tomato Jam | Farm Fresh Feasts

Grilled Cheese with Country Ham, Leeks, and Tomato Jam 

1 Tablespoon buttery spread, divided
¼ cup sliced leeks (these can be frozen/thawed, which is how I put up my farm share leeks)
½ slice country ham (when cubed, it equals about ¼ cup cubed ham bits)
2 slices bread (I'm using my Multigrain Sourdough)
1 Tablespoon tomato jam (from this recipe, or store-bought)
1 slice sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat a medium sized skillet over medium heat.  Add a teaspoon of buttery spread (you'll use the rest on the bread) and sauté the leeks for 3-5 minutes until browned and softened. Set leeks aside.  Add the half slice of country ham to the hot skillet and brown both sides, 2-3 minutes per side. Set aside and chop into bits when cool. Spread 2 slices of bread with buttery spread and put them--butter side down--in hot skillet.  Top one slice with cheese, leeks, and ham. Top the other slice with tomato jam.  Brown the buttered sides of bread in the skillet, about 3 minutes, then layer the slice with tomato jam on top of the ham and leeks--jam side down. Mash together and serve.  

*While in Chicago last week I had a Pub Waffle for breakfast with tomato jam on the side.  When I get that recipe recreated here, I'll share it.  Over the weekend it was my daughter's birthday, and she wanted "pancakes, bacon, and chocolate" so I made her chocolate chip bacon pancakes for breakfast.  Yum! Then I got a good deal on uncooked corn tortillas and made eggs and beans and sausage and peppers for Sunday's breakfast.  Since we do big breakfasts on the weekends, it will be a little while until I get that recipe up. I need some Easter ham first, as I think ham would be better than the turkey slice served to me on the Pub Waffle.

Grilled Cheese with Country Ham, Leeks, and Tomato Jam | Farm Fresh Feasts

Want more Grilled Cheese ideas? Click on the image to go to other recipes:

Creamy Tomato Soup Grilled Veggies and Hummus Grilled Cheese & Tomato Jam Grilled Guacamole & Corn Salsa Grilled Goat Cheese with Fresh Figs Image Map

11 comments:

  1. Kirsten, this flavor combination sounds amazing--especially the salty with gooey cheese. I've never had tomato jam before but I bet it is divine on this!

    Amy | Club Narwhal

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    Replies
    1. Amy,
      Thank you so much. I'm such a fan of grilled cheese--it's perfect for an easy supper, a quick lunch, you name it. Tomato jam should be tried--I'm looking forward to seeing what Marisa has cooked up in her new book, Preserving by the Pint.

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  2. Replies
    1. Laura,
      Thanks--this combination totally works for us. I'm looking forward to some tomato jam and Easter ham combinations, too.

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  3. Ahhhhhhhhh! I LOVE Grilled Cheese and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Marisa! I just finished reading her new book - Preserving by the Pint - and I'm so stoked to make EVERYTHING in it!

    Also - love the use of leeks and tomato jam in yours. Excellent sandwich, m'love.

    PS. Where's your chocolate milk? I need chocolate milk for my grilled cheese.

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    Replies
    1. Kristy,
      Chocolate milk and grilled cheese? I'll have to try this out. For me it's grilled cheese and creamy tomato soup--usually with tea--but if you say chocolate milk rocks, then I'll try it.
      Readers--if you'd like to win a copy of Marisa's new book Preserving by the Pint, head over to Kristy's site for the giveaway: http://sheeats.ca/2014/04/savory-caramelized-onion-sage-dip/

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  4. Even though I had an incredible cheese packed dinner tonight, I'm salivating over this sandwich. Actually the ham was the one thing missing in my tonight for obvious reasons. I love the combination of the leeks and the tomato jam with the cheese. This is another winner.

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    Replies
    1. Meghan,
      Cheese-packed dinners sound wonderful to me. What time shall I arrive?
      Thanks!

      Delete
  5. I am featuring this tomorrow on my Tasty Tuesday blog hop. I'd love if you'd stop by and link up again. Make sure you grab a featured button!

    Julia @ Mini Van Dreams

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    Replies
    1. Julia,
      Thanks so much for the feature!

      Delete
  6. Hi Kirsten, just stopped by to let you know you've been featured today over at Carole's Chatter. Cheers

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