Monday, March 4, 2013

Brunch: Hot Chee'sandwich

The first cookbook I ever received was Holly Hobbie's Cookbook.  The inscription inside the front cover is "To Sarah from Mom and Dad.  Happy Cooking!  Christmas 1980".  There are still recipes I make from this book regularly like cornbread and a small batch of brownies.  This is also the book I used when I learned the difference between teaspoon and tablespoon when adding baking powder to a batch of pancakes.
This recipe is also from the book, as almost a hot grilled ham and cheese sandwich.  Every week for lunch, we buy J salad, mushrooms, sliced ham, sliced cheddar and cottage cheese.  He rounds out his lunches with leftovers and so on.  This week, we had lots of leftovers and he didn't get to the ham and cheese.  In a bid to use them up and make brunch for us, I made these sandwiches.
J can eat 2.  I can't.  The extra reheats pretty well.  In fact, it gives the crispy top slice of bread a chance to soften a bit.  So, on a Saturday morning, here's what we ate for breakfast.  I present to you now the Hot Chee'sandwich from Holly Hobbie:

8 slices bread
2 Tbsp soft butter
4 slices cheese
4 slices cooked ham
2 eggs
2 c milk
Salt and Pepper to taste

1.  Grease a 9" baking pan and preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Butter both sides of the bread lightly and fit 4 slices into the bottom of the baking pan. (I often use heels of loaves on the bottom.  They fit well, and I only butter one side.)
3.  Layer bread with cheese and ham before adding top slice of bread (You may need to trim to fit)
4.  Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper.  Pour evenly over the sandwiches.  Bake for 1 hour, or until golden.  Serve hot.
From Holly Hobbie's Cookbook (I looked for a link...honest.  But the book was printed in 1979, it's not the easiest to find now, seeing as it's been out of print for years.  But I did have a fun little walk down memory lane with some of the Holly Hobbie stuff I had as a kid.  Take my word for it.  The book still exists in my library.  You can buy one through private sellers on Amazon if you really want to)

Here are the sandwiches being built.  I don't butter the insides of the bread as instructed.  I just don't think it's needed.  I do wonder, sometimes, though, about adding a second slice of cheese on top of the ham.  I should probably just butter the insides of the slices instead.
Here we are, ready to go in the oven!  I find the top crisps more than I like.  Every time I make these, I think that I should cover with foil until the last 10 minutes of baking; and then uncover and brown up the top.
The other thing I think is that slices of bread were smaller in 1979.  I always have trouble fitting them in.  That's why I like the crusts for the base.  Things puff up with the egg while baking.
Here is a sandwich out of the pan.  Even well buttered, I find them a pain to get out.  My favourite part?  The cheese run-off that sticks to the pan in the foreground.  Mmmmm....

1 comment:

  1. A panini is one of the great simple yummy things and I love the story behind it. Kids cookbooks are fun and I really need to remember to bring some down off the shelves for my kiddos.

    We laughed because when I asked T what she wanted for her b'day dinner tonight, my little foodie who usually selects sushi or steak requested "Pizza Quesadillas" which means pizza toppings (minus sauce) melted together in a tortilla and dipped in marinara or about as simple and easy as it gets. Does the trick though!