05 Jan2006

I often prefer leftovers to the actual holiday meal… lechon paksiw, turkey sandwiches, casseroles, etc. aaleft1Two of my favorite ways to use up leftovers are grilled ham and cheese (or tomato and cheese) sandwiches and fruit salads. For my grilled ham and cheese, I take good whole wheat sliced loaves and add sliced ham and some cheese (supermarket square cheese to any other nice cheeses you may have remnants of in the fridge)… heat up a cast iron or nice heavy stainless steel or non-stick pan and when hot add a generous blob of butter and when melted put the sandwich on the pan and grill for a few minutes until golden brown. Add another nice spread of butter on the top of the sandwich and turn over carefully. Press down with a cooking utensil to compress the sandwich. Remove and slice the sandwich in half and serve with a green salad or even dill pickles. Other variations on the theme are grilled ham and tomato sandwiches and something that harks back to my days as a student in Boston, grilled tuna and cheese sandwiches…yum!

A second use of holiday leftovers is a simple fruit salad that uses up whatever holiday aaleft2fruits you may have in the house… orange sections, pomelos, grapes, apples, mangoes, bananas, pineapple, etc. and add some citrus juice and a little sugar if necessary and some mint leaves for garnish and flavor. Just make sure there is some consistency to the sizes of fruits as an imbalance between humongous chunks of pineapple and finely sliced apple might be a bit disconcerting. It’s also nice if you add some fruit based alcohol to make it more of an “adult dessert.” Serve in a fancy crystal champagne glass and it looks like a million bucks!

 

COMMENTS:

  1. bianot says:

    i’ll try your grilled ham and cheese recipe, but will hold the butter!

    Jan 5, 2006 | 11:55 pm

     
  2. Candygirlmd says:

    Yes, it’s my favorite too :-) Been having it since Christmas day :-)

    Jan 6, 2006 | 12:38 am

     
  3. wysgal says:

    Wow that’s more a fried sandwich than a grilled one! Reminds me of this wonderfully deep fried sandwich they serve in UCC. =)

    Jan 6, 2006 | 9:27 am

     
  4. oscar says:

    I know you have qualms with grocery-bought apples but I tried ham and cheese plus a slice of fuji apple during my riceless lunches a few weeks back. Crunchier than a sloppy piece of lettice. And of course, grilled in butter too.

    Is the butter-grilling recipe the same as the much-maligned canteen-generic French toasts? I always wondered why they tasted so sweet.

    Jan 6, 2006 | 9:56 am

     
  5. suzette says:

    we exactly had the same leftovers! doesn’t look and taste like one :)

    Jan 6, 2006 | 10:18 am

     
  6. gonzo says:

    the butter in the pan is the traditional (SOP) way to make a classic grilled cheese sandwich. You probably could omit the butter but i’m guessing the bread will not crisp up properly. plus you lose all that glorious rich taste. just don’t eat it everyday and you will be fine. Everything in moderation, esp for food people i always say…

    Jan 6, 2006 | 11:37 am

     
  7. rina says:

    perfect timing, i was just looking at this cast iron bacon press/panini press at williams sonoma for those grilled cheese, tomato and basil evening cravings…still done on the stove top but minus the hassle and muscle strain of having to press hard on the bread using the turner. was contemplating whether to go for an electric panini grill but not sure if it merits counter space in my kitchen just yet!

    Jan 6, 2006 | 2:07 pm

     
  8. Marketman says:

    rina, I have one of those presses, good idea but rarely used as I can never find it when I need it! Heehee. I got an electric panini grill for xmas but have yet to try it. I wonder if it will be hot enough to crisp the bread… Oscar, it is good with a thin slice of nice pear as well…

    Jan 6, 2006 | 2:27 pm

     
  9. Alicia says:

    Am sure a panini press is a great tool to have. In my effort to buy less gadgets for the kitchen because I too can never seem to find them wneh I need them, I have been using my george foreman grill to make pressed sandwiches. I butter the sandwiches from the inside, (ciabattas work extremely well) and they come out nice and crispy outside but firm and not soggy inside. I think I use this grill more for sandwiched than anything else since I prefer the real grilling for most things.

    Jan 6, 2006 | 6:31 pm

     
  10. Wilson Cariaga says:

    hmmm. . . the pic of the sandwich reminds me of Fried Sandwich Monte Cristo. . . also a ham and cheese sandwich dipped in egg then fried. . . yummy

    Jan 6, 2006 | 7:23 pm

     
  11. fried-neurons says:

    I loooove grilled cheese sammies! I use a panini press as well.

    Jan 7, 2006 | 7:35 am

     
  12. bayi & ssk says:

    Leftoevrs or not, these grilled sandwiches are among the most sinfully delicious ones I have seen and they make me drool!

    Jan 7, 2006 | 6:42 pm

     
  13. Mandy says:

    i can’t believe i missed this post. i so love grilled cheese sambwiches! then serve it with some cold potato salad. ahhh, heaven.

    Feb 8, 2006 | 3:24 am

     
 

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