Apr 4
2011

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Jarlsberg Fondue, Ham & Tomato Recipe

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Perhaps it is because we didn’t have many desserts in our cupboards, but I have been a “savory” girl ever since I was young. After-school snacks ranged from leftover pasta to vegetables with hummus. My favorite, however, was a simple plateful of cheese and crackers. The type of cheese varied, but one of my favorites throughout childhood and now into adulthood is Jarlsberg. At least a couple of times per month, my mum brought home a wedge of the semi-firm Norwegian cheese. The nutty flavor paired well with sesame crackers and raw vegetables.

When it was revealed that this round of Kitchen Play was sponsored by Jarlsberg USA and the theme was grilled cheese, it felt like kismet. My mind was reeling with all the possibilities. Crusty bread or ciabatta rolls? Pesto or mango chutney? Turkey or ham? Packed with veggies or naked? I was in grilled cheese heaven, but waffled between all of the choices until I was struck with inspiration from a rather well-known Frenchman.

Jacques Pepin’s repertoire boasts hundreds of beautiful and elaborate recipes, but the famous chef remembers this simple mixture fondly. Growing up, his parents would use leftover pieces of cheese to make a creamy spread for crostini. We served these crostini at a cheese party last year and they were the hit of the hors d’oeuvres table. When the cheese is blended with wine and garlic, and broiled on a piece of crusty bread, it can be best described as hand-held cheese fondue.

The assertive taste of the Jarlsberg mixture provides a base for salty ham, juicy tomato and peppery arugula. Stacked on crusty bread and grilled to golden brown, this lunch or dinner option takes the average grilled cheese sandwich to new heights.

The recipe:

Jarlsberg mixture:
Combine Jarlsberg cheese, wine, garlic, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth.

Jarlsberg Cheese Collage 1

Sandwich:
Brush one side of each piece of bread with olive oil (the oil-brushed side will be on the outside of the sandwich). Spread 1 tablespoon of the Jarlsberg mixture on each slice of bread (2 tablespoons per sandwich). Divide ham, tomato slices, and arugula leaves evenly over 4 slices of bread. Close each sandwich with a remaining slice of bread.

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Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat.

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Place sandwiches in skillet (cook in two batches, if necessary) and cook until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown. Serve.

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To recognize April as National Grilled Cheese Month, Jarlsberg Cheese is offering a promotion. Enter your grilled cheese recipe at www.freetoastabag.com and receive a free Toastabag and $1.00 off your next purchase of Jarlsberg or Jarlsberg Lite.

Be sure to check out the other participants’ versions of grilled cheese sandwiches using Jarlsberg cheese.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Jarlsberg Fondue, Ham & Tomato

Jarlsberg mixture:
½ lb. Jarlsberg cheese, cut into 1-inch pieces
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp dry white wine
1 garlic clove, minced
Several grinds black pepper

Sandwich:
8 slices crusty bread
1/3 cup olive oil
½ lb black forest ham, cut into ¼-inch slices
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 cup (packed) arugula leaves

Jarlsberg mixture:
Combine Jarlsberg cheese, wine, garlic, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth.

Sandwich:
Brush one side of each piece of bread with olive oil (the oil-brushed side will be on the outside of the sandwich). Spread 1 tablespoon of the Jarlsberg mixture on each slice of bread (2 tablespoons per sandwich). Divide ham, tomato slices, and arugula leaves evenly over 4 slices of bread. Close each sandwich with a remaining slice of bread.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Place sandwiches in skillet (cook in two batches, if necessary) and cook until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown. Serve.

Makes 4 sandwiches.

Printable recipe

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{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

1 claudia lamascolo April 4, 2011 at 6:39 am

Wow now this is what I call a hearty awesome sandwich!

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2 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Thank you, Claudia. Yes, you only need one of these sandwiches to fill you up.

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3 Elin April 4, 2011 at 7:41 am

CC that is a delicious looking piece of grilled sandwiches. I feel like stretching my hands thru the window and grab them for my supper now. Thanks for sharing …I will definitely make this for my breakfast tomoro :) salivating for the time being :)

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4 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Thank you, Elin. Breakfast, lunch, dinner – I’d be happy to eat this at any meal.

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5 Megan April 4, 2011 at 7:46 am

I love how you made the cheese fondue mixture of this sandwich. Now I know what to do with all my leftover hunks of cheese!
Great looking sandwich! I love the Jarlsberg cheese.!

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6 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Megan, the Jarlsberg cheese works really nicely for the fondue spread, but I have also had great success with soft cheese, too.

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7 Jenny Flake April 4, 2011 at 8:52 am

What a fabulous sandwich! Maybe I’ll just have to have a nice grilled cheese for lunch :) Yum!

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8 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Go for it, Jenny!

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9 Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen April 4, 2011 at 9:03 am

That is a great looking sandwich!

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10 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Thanks so much.

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11 4 the love of feasting April 4, 2011 at 9:06 am

This looks amazing! I love all kinds of cheese, especially jarlesburg! Thanks so much for sharing!

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12 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 12:43 pm

I am a big fan of Jarlsberg, too.

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13 Brandie April 4, 2011 at 9:10 am

Oh.my.goodness. Dara – this looks so darn good. I really love the different flavors in here. Black Forest ham is one of my favorites too and I do enjoy Jarlsberg cheese. Good gracious, I need to make this soon!

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14 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Thank you, Brandie. The black forest ham and Jarlsberg cheese really do complement each other nicely.

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15 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. April 4, 2011 at 9:18 am

This looks amazing!

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16 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Thanks, Alison.

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17 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel April 4, 2011 at 9:18 am

I love what you did with the cheese – fun idea! I’d never think to blend it up.

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18 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I give all credit to Jacques Pepin for the blending idea.

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19 Maria April 4, 2011 at 9:38 am

That is a perfect grilled cheese!

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20 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Thanks, Maria.

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21 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective April 4, 2011 at 9:52 am

Why is it that sandwiches always taste better when someone else makes them? I’ll never know, but I sure wish I was eating one of yours right now!

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22 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I agree. If we ever meet in person, I’ll make you a grilled cheese sandwich and you make one for me. Deal?

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23 Tracy April 4, 2011 at 10:16 am

Now this a grilled cheese sandwich! YUM!

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24 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Thanks, Tracy.

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25 Tricia @ Saving room for dessert April 4, 2011 at 10:20 am

I still can’t get over the ham and cheddar panini with hot pepper jelly. I’ve made it SEVERAL times and as each week rolls around, I think I need to have another one. This sandwich may take the top stop for the next couple of weeks. It looks and sounds wonderful. Thanks!

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26 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Tricia, I’m so glad you enjoyed the panini with the pepper jelly. That’s a favorite of ours, too.

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27 Sukaina April 4, 2011 at 10:50 am

This looks delicious Dara. Cheese sandwiches are my favorite snacks as well as meals sometimes. I have mine slightly differently with a dash of tabasco, some ketchup or green mint and corinader chutney….and grilled! My mouth is watering!!

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28 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Coriander chutney would be out-of-this-world on a grilled cheese sandwich. Thanks for the idea, Sukaina.

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29 Vicki @ WITK April 4, 2011 at 11:26 am

I love grilled cheese! I actually made one last night for dinner :) This combination looks and sounds delicious!

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30 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Thanks, Vicki.

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31 Matt April 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm

You have no idea how much I want that sandwich. I LOVE cheese.

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32 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Thanks, Matt. It doesn’t take long to make.

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33 Kulsum at JourneyKitchen April 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Dara I’m droooling! There is nothing like grilled cheese sandwich is there? I love mine with mango chutney.

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34 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Thanks, Kulsum. I often use mango chutney with my grilled cheese, too. It’s a great flavor combination.

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35 Lindsay @eat,knit,grow April 4, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Yum! That looks absolutely amazing, I need to devour that now!

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36 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Thanks, Lindsay.

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37 Parsley Sage April 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Rawr! That’s a hot looking grilled cheese. Want!

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38 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 8:07 pm

LOL. Thank you.

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39 Ayesha Jameel April 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm

That sandwich looks like heaven !
i’m your new follower … please visit n follow my blog if you wish to @ http://kitchensojourn.blogspot.com

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40 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Thanks for stopping by, Ayesha.

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41 Kristen April 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Incredibly brilliant looking grilled cheese sandwich! I love Jarlsberg with Ham, don’t you?

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42 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Thanks, Kristen. I loved the look of your grilled cheese, too.

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43 Jenny (VintageSugarcube) April 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Goooood gravy!! I just had a ginormous lunch and looking at that photo, I’m suddenly hungry again. I think that sammie, officially qualifies as FOOD PORN!

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44 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Thanks, Jenny. I promise that it does actually taste as good as it looks.

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45 Maris (In Good Taste) April 4, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Now this is a grilled cheese sandwich!!! Jarlsberg is the best!

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46 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 8:08 pm

I agree, Maris. Jarlsberg has always been a favorite of mine.

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47 Jennifer (savor) April 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm

YAY for the Savory Girls!!!

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48 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Thanks, Jennifer.

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49 Nancy@acommunaltable April 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Being a huge grilled cheese officianado, I will definitely be making these!! Love the “fondue” spread idea!!

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50 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Thank you, Nancy. The spread works really well as crostini, too. Just stick them under the broiler for an easy, hot appetizer.

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51 Shelby April 4, 2011 at 7:35 pm

I don’t think I’ve seen a better looking grilled cheese sandwich than this! Looks delicious!

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52 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 8:09 pm

THanks, Shelby. I appreciate that.

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53 Julie M. April 4, 2011 at 7:41 pm

What a positively gorgeous grilled cheese Dara! You’ve just taken Jarlsburg to a whole new level of delicious!

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54 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Thanks so much, Julie. The flavor of the Jarlsberg did most of the work for me.

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55 marla April 4, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Oh yes!! I love this. The fact that you made a spread with the cheese & wine is awesome. I am mostly a savory girl too – this is the perfect hand held meal :)

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56 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) April 4, 2011 at 8:10 pm

I think you would love this spread, Marla. It’s a great way to use up random cheese bits that might be sitting in your fridge.

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57 Kankana April 4, 2011 at 8:53 pm

I too enjoy savory dish much more than sweet and just like you i prefer a cheese platter or fruits more than a sweet treat :)

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58 Drick April 5, 2011 at 6:44 am

that is one heck of a grilled cheese, and I do like that cheese blend – I can see why it is such a hit

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59 Celia April 5, 2011 at 7:40 am

Love the idea of putting seasoned cheese into a grilled cheese sandwich! More than anything, though, I love the crusty bread you used; nice to find someone else who like a little crunch with their melty cheese!

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60 bellini April 5, 2011 at 7:46 am

It is grilld cheese month so this is a timely post Ms. Canuck. At Costco the Jarlesburg is my favourite cheese to take home!!!

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61 Rochelle April 5, 2011 at 9:48 am

Grilled cheese is one of the ultimate comfort foods and you’ve showcased it perfectly with that mixture of garlic, wine and cheese. I so need to give this recipe a try. I think I also need to go to the store to get all the goodies to make it with :D

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62 susan April 5, 2011 at 9:51 am

wow…what a great flavor combo. i think we should declare grilled cheese month – grilled cheese year! is that so wrong?

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63 Charissa April 5, 2011 at 11:14 am

Awesome. I look a good sandwich, especially when it’s different that the norm. Looks delish!

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64 Katrina April 5, 2011 at 11:20 am

This looks crazy good. I love finding new grilled cheese recipes!

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65 Mary @ Delightful Bitefuls April 5, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Ooh, this looks exceptionally delicious!

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66 domenica April 5, 2011 at 3:13 pm

sooooo gooooddddd!!!!!!! i want eat now!!!!!

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67 Winnie April 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Beautiful! I love Kitchen Play and this looks like a great sandwich Dara.

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68 Tupper April 5, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Awesome looking sammie there Canuck! Always looking for variations on the grilled cheese, and that is beautiful.

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69 Monet April 5, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Oh yes…this certainly looks like a winner. I adore jarlsburg cheese (my mom’s favorite) and I love the thought of making fondue. Thanks for sharing this with me tonight. Food and cooking has brought me much comfort during these hard days. Your blog is a burst of brightness. I hope you have a happy and safe Wednesday. Hug the ones you love!

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70 Shaina April 6, 2011 at 8:15 am

I love the fondue spread. What a perfect grilled cheese.

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71 Jarlsberg USA April 8, 2011 at 9:04 pm

This is such a great way to take an old favorite and put a wonderful twist on it. I can imagine the Jarlsberg spread being great in all kinds of snacking and dining situations. Thanks for the inspiration!

Casey

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72 patsyk April 13, 2011 at 6:42 am

I love this grown-up grilled cheese! I just recently started using different types of cheeses for grilled cheese and am really enjoying changing the flavors! This looks perfect!

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73 Heather at FarmgirlGourmet April 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm

This looks so good Dara! Wishing I still had some Canadian Bacon left! Yum!

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74 Denise @ Creative Kitchen April 20, 2011 at 9:12 am

Wow…love the cheese fondue mixture idea!! Clever! Thanks for sharing on stumble with me….this definitely makes me hungry for lunch :)

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75 cooking rookie May 3, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Lovely sandwich! Stumbled :-)

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76 Pang Teck Yung April 13, 2012 at 5:26 am

This looks absolutely delicious. Probably I just need cheese mixtures, an egg, and bread, fry or grill, a yummy breakfast is done. :)

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77 Brenda September 19, 2012 at 11:48 am

I was nervous serving this sandwich to my picking family of boys. I just made homemade tomato soup and needed a sandwich recipe. I knew I would love it, and I was desperate to reintroduce “grilled cheese” back into our lives. However, I only used half portions of the garlic and wine. Result: Big raves! All gone! Thank You!!!

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78 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) September 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I’m so glad, Brenda! Thanks for letting me know.

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