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not your average grilled cheese

For Easter Brunch this year, I veered off my usual Easter Brunch sort of menu. No honey-glazed ham or potatoes au gratin. No asparagus tart, asparagus terrine, or asparagus salad. No French toast or herb crepes. No, this year, I went with a super simple and super last-minute sort of menu. Why? Because I wasn’t 100% I’d be in town to make Easter Brunch this year.

My daughter, Marissa, is expecting baby boy #2 any day now. Baby boy #1, Max, arrived three weeks early and if #2 followed suit, he would have arrived on March 26th. But he, and Marissa, are hanging in there for the time being. If all goes to plan, I will be flying out to Chicago next week, until then, I’m on watch to leave at a moment’s notice. Easter shopping didn’t happen until late Saturday afternoon. Here is my last-minute super simple menu:

The guest list was pared down too, with only my dad, Dave, Connor, and me. The overall favorite dish of the day was the deviled ham-grilled cheese. I’ll most definitely be making it again and again. I’m so out of the habit of blogging that I didn’t get a close-up photo of the sandwiches, just a table shot with them in the center on a plate. Sorry!

A close-up photo that I did manage to get was of my April Fools “Grilled Cheese Sandwiches” that I made for my girlfriends today. We were at lunch to celebrate Amy, April and Lori’s March birthdays so I brought along a little “sample of the delicious grilled cheese sandwiches I’d served for Easter.” They were tricked and were actually happy with my pound cake/vanilla frosting creation. To fool your friends next year, simply slice a pound cake, butter one side and brown in a skillet. Set aside to cool. Add orange or a mixture of red and yellow food coloring to purchased vanilla frosting and put together your sandwiches.

Deviled Ham – Grilled Cheese Sandwiches


  • 4 ounces smoked uncured ham, cut into large chunks
  • 3 ounces white cheddar cheese, cut into large chunks
  • 3 ounces Gruyère cheese, cut into large chunks
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise


  • 12 (1/2-inch-thick) slices challah
  • Unsalted butter, at room temperature

Filling: Put the ham pieces into the food processor and pulse until the ham resembles bacon bits in texture. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Use the food processor to do the same with the two cheeses, then add to the bowl.

Add all remaining filling ingredients to the bowl. Use clean hands or a large spoon to mix until fully incorporated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made up to two days in advance.

Sandwiches: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread a layer of butter on one side of each slice of bread.

Add ham mixture, generously, to one slice of bread on the unbuttered side, covering the entire piece of bread. Top with the other slice of bread, butter side out. Repeat with the remaining slices of bread, making a total of six (6) sandwiches.

Place sandwiches in a large cold skillet and then turn the heat to medium, cook until golden brown, the flip to brown the other side. Once browned on both sides, transfer to a baking sheet. Brown sandwiches in batches until all are cooked. Place baking sheet in the oven to allow the cheese to fully melt. Baking for about 5 to 6 minutes. Slice in half on the diagonal and serve warm.

Makes 6 sandwiches

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