Classic Spanish ingredients on crusty bread make this grilled cheese sandwich pull away from the pack.
The Spanish are good at many things, but maybe at the tippy top of the list are cured meats and cheeses. They are experts at them, really.
So it only seems right to see if we can’t stuff some of their best stuff in a delicious, buttery grilled cheese sandwich. Actually, we should probably make two!
While you could use any bread for this, I quickly baked a loaf of Pillsbury French Loaf. Instead of baking it as one large loaf though, I split it into two, which will be the perfect size for our sandwiches!
You can bake the bread according to the package, but subtract 5 minutes from the baking time since the loaves are smaller.
Besides the bread, you just need some basics. I used some salty and creamy manchego cheese, quince paste (also called membrillo), and prosciutto or Serrano ham.
This stuff is all pretty accessible these days, but I do recommend trying to buy the best you can afford – the quality really matters since there aren’t many ingredients in the sandwich.
The membrillo might be tricky to find, but it’s normally in small tubs in the deli section. It’s really thick stuff, so you’ll want to heat it over low heat with some water to loosen it up a bit before slathering it on the bread.
Then, like I said, slather it on the bread!
Building the sandwich is pretty straightforward from there. Top the quince paste with some sliced ham and a layer of thinly sliced manchego cheese.
Cook these sandwiches in a large skillet over medium-low heat with some melted butter in the pan. I like to add an empty skillet on top of my sandwiches to press them lightly as they cook.
They will need 3-4 minutes per side until they're golden brown and the cheese is melted.
A little grilled cheese tip: If you want the cheese super-melty, add a drizzle of water to the pan and immediately slap on a lid. The steam will melt the cheese, but just be careful not to add too much water or it will make your bread soggy.
Slice and serve these bad boys as soon as possible. It's a very delicious sandwich!
Nick wrote this recipe to make two sandwiches because you won’t want to share yours! Check out his blog, Macheesmo, and follow him on his Tablespoon Profile.