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In-or-Out Ham and Cheese Melts: Saucy Mama's 2015 Recipe Contest Grand Champ!

In-or-Out Ham and Cheese Melts: Saucy Mama's 2015 Recipe Contest Grand Champ!

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Our 2015 Recipe Contest has come to a close with the selection of our Grand Champion winner, Merry Graham from A Merry Recipe! Yes, you've undoubtedly heard that name before, because Merry wins a lot! And for good reason, too- everything she makes is delicious. Merry won our 2011 Fab with Five Recipe Contest with her Tarragon Hot Link Spirals and with this year's Saucy Mama win, she'll be representing Saucy Mama at the 2015 World Food Championships in the Sandwich Category. Her Grand Champ recipe is below and is definitely one for your "must make" list. You can do either version: family style or party style- check 'em out!

In addition to celebrating our Grand Champ, we want to make sure we say a HUGE thank you to ALL of our Saucy Mama competitors. We love your enthusiasm and your recipes. This year's judging was the hardest yet! We hope you know how much we appreciate each of you, and we have enjoyed getting to know you over the past few weeks. We hope to see you all in Florida, and we hope you'll join us again in future contests. 

Stay tuned for another post next week featuring our Runner-Up (Lisa Keys) recipe!

In-or-Out Ham and Cheese Melts

Ingredients:

For Backyard Balsamic Vinaigrette Pickled Onions

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Saucy Mama Four Leaf Balsamic Vinaigrette & Marinade
1 tablespoon Saucy Mama Backyard Brat Mustard
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large red onion, thinly sliced Red Onions

For Apricot Pepperoncini Relish

3/4 cups Turkish dried apricots
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup (jar) roasted red pepper strips
1/4 cup deli sliced pepperoncini
1 tablespoon pepperoncini brine
2 tablespoons apricot jam
1 (9 oz) jar Saucy Mama Apricot Ginger Mustard, as directed
1 (9 oz) jar Saucy Mama Chipotle Mustard, divided, as directed

For Full Sandwiches

1/2 cup unsalted butter
Saucy Mama Apricot Ginger Mustard, as directed
2 tablespoons chopped chives
For 4 Sandwiches: 8 slices Texas Toast or thick high quality white bread, or onion rolls
For Party Buns: 12 count package savory dinner rolls
1 pound black forest ham, Beachwood Smoked when possible, ultra thin sliced
1 pound Muenster cheese, sliced thin
1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese, sliced thin (regular cheddar is okay)
Saucy Mama Chipotle Mustard, as directed

Directions:

Heat oven or grill to 400 degrees. (My grill jumped between 350-400 the whole time)

For Backyard Balsamic Vinaigrette Pickled Onions

Combine red wine vinegar, Saucy Mama Four Leaf Balsamic Vinaigrette, Saucy Mama Backyard Brat Mustard, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and add onions. Simmer for 5 minutes, remove from heat, and allow onions to steep until ready to use. Drain onions from juices before placing on sandwich.

For Apricot Pepperoncini Relish

Combine apricots, cranberries, pepperoncini, pepperoncini brine, red pepper strips, apricot jam, 2 tablespoons Saucy Mama Apricot Ginger Mustard, 1-2 teaspoons Saucy Mama Chipotle Mustard to taste. Pulse several times until relish-like in consistency.

For Full Sandwiches

Melt butter in microwave safe container, on HIGH 30-45 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir in 1 tablespoon Apricot Ginger Mustard. If making party sandwiches add chives. Note remaining directions depend on if you are serving 4 sandwiches or party rolls.

INDOOR: Brush 1 side of four bread slices and place butter side down on a greased cookie sheet, and spread with a generous layer of Apricot Pepperoncini Relish. Layer 2 ham slices folded to fit bread, then 1 slice Muenster cheese, 2 ham slices, 1 slice cheddar cheese, 2 slices ham, and 1 slice Muenster. Arrange desired amount of pickled onions over ham and cheese stacks. Spread remaining bread slices with desired amount of Saucy Mama Chipotle Mustard. Invert mustard bread slices on top of ham and cheese stacks, and gently press down. Brush top of bread with melted butter.

Bake sandwiches in center of oven, 4-5 minutes or until bottom slice of bread is toasted and golden brown. Flip sandwiches over and toast an additional 3-5 minutes or until cheese has melted and bottom slice of bread has toasted. Remove from oven, wait 2 minutes, and cut diagonally in half to serve. Note: sandwiches can be cut in quarters to serve at a party! Serves 4.

OUTDOOR: Slice rolls horizontally, and place bottom of bun in a grill safe, aluminum foil, 9 x 13-inch pan. Spread buns generously with apricot pepperoncini relish. Top with 2 layers ham, 1 layer Muenster cheese, 2 layers ham, 1 layer cheddar cheese, 1 layer Muenster cheese, 2 layers ham, and 1 layer Muenster cheese slices, Arrange pickled onions over ham and cheese stacks. Spread Saucy Mama Chipotle Mustard on cut side of top roll and invert on top of onions. Pour melted chive mustard butter over rolls. Bake in 400 degree oven or grill for 15-20 minutes. Remove, let sit for 5 minutes and separate into individual servings. Note: If grilling and using aluminum foil pan, double-up the pan and place in a grill basket. A prepared cedar plank can be placed under the tray of sandwiches for added smokiness. Yields 12 party size ham and cheese melts!