Grilled Cheese with Prosciutto and Pepper Jelly




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!

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