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Harry’s Bar Special

April 12, 2011

by Elizabeth

Happy Grilled Cheese Day! Could there be any better foodie holiday? We think not. Clearly I was overly excited for this national holiday, and spent countless hours researching recipes so I could make you the perfect grilled cheese. Despite being a rather basic sandwich, there are thousands of interpretations out there, involving wonderful things like truffle oil, olive tapenade, prosciutto and figs, and even brie and nutella.

In the end, I decided to share my all time favorite Grilled Cheese recipe with you, one I found in this darling book five years ago. While ham and cheddar are arguably the most standard of ingredients in a grilled cheese, the splash of Worcestershire and a dash of dry mustard really take this sandwich from ho hum to incredible. A spoonful of sour cream ensures an extra oozy filling, which, let’s be honest, is never a bad thing.

I also especially adore this sandwich because it comes from the famous Harry’s Bar in Venice, one of my very favorite places. While I sadly missed out on the grilled cheese finger sandwiches (too full from a four course Italian meal), I have very fond memories of my girlfriends and I escaping the mid-summer evening heat by sipping Bellinis and sharing a giant piece of chocolate cake at Harry’s. There might have also been charming Italian waiters and a gondola ride involved. Venice stole our hearts that night and we’ve been plotting to return ever since. Luckily, we don’t have to go to Venice to nibble on these darling sandwiches and sip Bellinis to our hearts’ content.

Harry’s Bar Special

serves 2, adapted from Grilled Cheese: 50 recipes to make you melt

4 slices thin, dense white bread, crusts removed
1/3 cup shredded gruyere
1/2 cup shredded white cheddar
1/3 cup diced smoked ham
1 tablespoon sour cream
few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
olive oil, for brushing

Thoroughly mix the cheeses, ham, sour cream, Worcestershire, and dry mustard in a small bowl. Make sure the ham is evenly distributed and the mixture sticks together. You want the consistency of pimento cheese almost, add more sour cream if needed.

Spread half of cheese mixture on each of two slices of bread, top with another slice and press down firmly. Slice sandwiches in half. Brush each side with olive oil. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the sandwiches and grill for several minutes on each side, pressing down with a spatula, until sandwich is golden brown and cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

For a party presentation, cut each sandwich into fourths or thirds (like Harry’s does). You can grill as usual and then keep warm in a 250˙ oven. Alternately, compose the sandwiches in advance, place on a baking sheet, and refrigerate (ungrilled) until needed. Place sandwiches under the broiler for 2 – 3 minutes, flip over and broil for another 1 – 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Christina permalink
    April 12, 2011 8:26 am

    Cam is in Venice today!!! I told her she HAD to go to Harry’s bar!!!

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