Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Breakfast for Dinner: Ham and Scrambled Egg Grilled Cheese

There are a lot of days when I need to put together a quick meal. Sure, I love the complicated recipes where I can spend the day peeling, chopping, stirring, tweaking ... but those are for days off.

Most other days, I can afford some time in the kitchen to do put together something tasty. Maybe there aren't any fancy garnishes, but it's well thought-out and nicely presented.

And then there are those days when I'm running like a maniac to get dinner on the table ten minutes ago.

The simplest dinners are the breakfast-for-dinner meals, usually something like scrambled eggs and toast. That's sort of a last-resort, can't-think-of-anything-else meal.

But it doesn't take much more effort to make this sandwich, and it's definitely more creative than simple scrambled eggs. Even better, it can be made in one pan, so cleanup is easy. Some pickles or chips or sliced tomato on the side would be great. Or, if you've got the extra two seconds, a simple green salad.

My favorite cheeses for grilled cheese sandwiches are yellow cheeses somewhere in the continuum between American cheese and a non-aged cheddar. As much as I like cheddar cheese, it doesn't melt the way I like in a sandwich like this. Swiss or pepperjack would also work well.

For the ham, this is the perfect use for left over baked ham, but you can also use deli ham, if you prefer. I like slightly thicker slices, but just about anything will work.

As far as this new butter with canola oil, it's got a few advantages. It's soft and spreadable, it tastes good on its own (I was really surprised when I tried it on bread), and since there's oil with the butter, it has a higher smoke point than straight butter. It doesn't have any strange ingredients - it's just cream, canola oil, and salt.

I've been using Land O'Lakes butter as my standard everyday for a long time, and I can remember my mother buying it, so obviously it's been around for a long time.

Ham-and-Egg Grilled Cheese

2 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil (divided)
1 cup diced ham
2 eggs
4 slices bread
4 slices cheese

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a nonstick pan on medium heat. Add the ham and cook, stirring, just until the ham warms slightly. Add the eggs on top of the ham, and break the yolks. Stir to combine whites and yolks and ham. Continue cooking until the eggs are cooked through.

Transfer the scrambled ham and eggs to a plate or bowl and set aside for a moment.

Wipe out the pan - you don't need to clean it completely - just get rid of the egg bits that might burn.

Add the second tablespoon of butter to the pan. Place all four slices of bread in the pan. (If they don't all fit, you can do this one sandwich at a time.) Place a slice of cheese on each slice of bread.

Place half of the egg mixture on each of two slices of bread, then top with the un-egged slice of bread and cheese. At this point, the cheese should be lightly adhering to the bread.

Continue cooking, flipping the sandwiches as needed, until the bread is nicely toasted and the cheese is melted.

Serve hot.

The author was compensated by Land O’Lakes for this post. All opinions are my own.