Yield: 2 sandwiches
I have a bit of thing for a good grilled cheese sandwich. This one comes from one of my favorite restaurants in Des Moines called The Cheese Shop-any place with that name is bound to be delicious. I stop by whenever I’m in town for a bit of inspiration. Quark cheese is a soft, spreadable fresh cheese that you can often find in the specialty cheese case at your grocery store. I used an Iowa-made cheddar cheese from Milton Creamery called Prairie Breeze-it’s well worth seeking out if you can find near you.
4 slices good-quality sandwich bread
2 tablespoons quark cheese
2 tablespoons pepper jelly, homemade or store-bought
2 ounces aged gouda (not smoked), coarsely grated
2 ounces white cheddar, coarsely grated
6 chives, finely chopped
1/4 cup prosciutto, finely chopped
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Preheat a large cast-iron or non-stick skillet over medium to medium-low heat for at least 10 minutes. Spread 1 tablespoon of pepper jelly on one slice of bread and 1 tablespoon of quark on the other slice. Sprinkle the chives and prosciutto crumbles over one side of the bread-it should stick well to either of the spreads. Cover the prosciutto with half of the cheeses and press the two sides together. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise over the outside of each sandwich. Repeat with the remaining two slices of bread. Grill for about 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown and the cheese is melted. You can always throw the sandwiches in a 350°oven for 5 to 7 minutes to help melt the cheese-it’s better to have a golden-brown crust and unmelted cheese over burnt bread and melted cheese!