In-season apples complement this grilled cheese sandwich

By Jim Bailey

I Yankee Chef logo adore the taste of apple, cheese and any smoked meat, and this  next recipe hits the spot! With apple season in full picking mode right now here in New England, grab whatever apple trips your trigger.

I have always adored the soft, sweet flavor of Macintosh apples in this grilled cheese, but Cortland and Empire work just as well.

Colby cheese is probably the best cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches. It is smooth, melts extremely well and it helps to counter the bite of Parmesan cheese without diminishing the tart flavor.

Smokey apple grilled cheese sandwiches

Smoky apple grilled cheese sandwiches

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon minced cucumber
8 slices Italian bread
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened,
1/2 pound thinly sliced smoked ham
1 apple, cored, peeled and sliced thinly
1 cup arugula
4 thin slices red onion
2-4 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese
2-4 ounces sliced Colby
Sliced cucumbers, if desired

In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, garlic powder and minced cucumber well. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until ready to use. Spread the mayo mixture on one side of four slices of Italian bread. Butter the other side and place in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the ham, apple, onion, arugula and cheese. Top with another slice of bread that has been spread with the mayo mixture. Butter the tops and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until dark browned and the cheese has melted. If needed, lower the heat to medium-low and cook longer to ensure the ham is heated and the cheese has melted. This sandwich is also great grilled on an outdoor grill as well. Served with sliced cucumbers if desired.

Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s new book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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