Grilled Swiss Cheese with Quick-Fried Onion, Shaved Apple and Ham

Simple enough for a quick lunch, this gourmet grilled cheese also has a complexity (and sheer deliciousness) making it equally welcome as a dinner entrée. A good quality white or wheat bread works best here; avoid anything too tough, too crusty or too thick. In your glass, enjoy a rich, oaky Rueda Verdejo to complement the salty Swiss cheese and savory ham.

Serves 2

4 slices hearty sandwich bread (sliced approximately ½” thick)
½ red or white onion, thinly sliced
1 apple (preferably Granny Smith), cored
6 ounces pre-sliced or grated Swiss cheese
2 thin slices ham
Soft butter or mayonnaise, as needed

Coat a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and cook onions with ¼ teaspoon salt for 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally until onion is tender and starting to brown. Set aside. While onion cooks, slice apple as thinly as possible.

Place ¼ of the cheese on one slice of bread, followed by a layer of onion, a slice of ham, a thin layer of apple, another ¼ of the cheese, and another slice of bread. Repeat for the other sandwich (you will probably have some apple and onion left over).

Heat a griddle or large flat skillet over medium-low heat. Spread one side of each sandwich with a thin layer of butter or mayonnaise and gently place, butter-side-down, on griddle/in pan. Cook until golden brown, about 7-8 minutes. Spread a layer of butter or mayonnaise on the exposed side and carefully flip. Cook until golden brown on the second side, about 4-5 minutes (reduce heat if necessary so the sandwiches don’t burn before the cheese melts). Slice on the diagonal and serve immediately.

WINE PAIRING: The complexity of a richer, oak-aged or old-vine Verdejo turns a grilled cheese meal into something special. Try Marques de Riscal “Finca Montico,” Belondrade “Belondrade y Lurton” Verdejo,  Martínsancho Verdejo 2017 or Garciarevalo Casamaro Verdejo 2018.

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