Holy Hock – Comte Grilled Cheese with Rosemary Ham and Pineapple with Smoked Sea Salt

So believe it or not, I got another job dealing with – you guessed it – cheese! I’m still at Saveur but I’m also slanging (yes, I used that word and no it’s not illegal. What’s pasteurized is supposed to be pasteurized. Promise.) my favorite milk-derived product at this super lovely little shop called Dépanneur in Williamsburg. You should totes come in. Not only will I sell you some awesome cheese but I also play DJ (sometimes) and slam their coffee (always) so I have way too much energy that could use an outlet. I think you would be perfect for helping me with that. Really, I do. 
But back to the sandwich – I got all the ingredients from the shop and have, at least to my standards, perfected the grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Here it is. Say hello to your new best friend.

Made with The Dep’s best…


– 5 slices of fra’mani rosemary ham
– 1/4 pound of shredded Comte cheese
– 2 pats vermont creamery cultured butter
– smoked sea salt
Roberta’s city white bread
– 2 tbs chopped fresh pineapple

To begin, you’ve got to get yourself some Comte. This cheese is probably one of the best melting quesos EVER. It’s firm yet creamy with a mild flavor and pairs perfectly with pretty much everything. The balance between sweetness and saltiness sort of works out the same way that Jens Lekman’s songs are perfect for every occasion. Sort of.

Now that I’ve talked you into it, go ahead and shred it up and place half of it on one slice of bread. It really doesn’t take Comte long to melt, but shredding it will speed up the process and anything helps when it’s this ridiculously hot outside.

Now let’s talk about this ham. Holy hock. It’s really good. Like really, really good.* This salty meat is baked with savory rosemary and has a delicate interlace of semi-fatty streaks that makes it melt in your mouth. Yeah, ham can do that.

And because it can do that, you’ll definitely want to put some on this sandwich.

* I know say that about almost everything i put on here, and I don’t mean to sound cocky, but I DO use some really great stuff.  

Now pineapple-it-up. You’ll want to make a thin layer of pineapple – just enough so you can get a nice little pop of sweetness in each bite.

Now more cheese, more, MORE!

Then gently put the other piece of bread on top and squish it down. But before we move on to the next step, I need to tell you about this bread. It’s from Roberta’s which is probably the best restaurant in my hood. Having access to their bread is really tricky. I have to constantly distract myself from eating it. The crust is thin and a little bit burnt which contrasts beautifully to the dense, moist and nutty center. I want to eat it all the time. God help me.

Now that the sandwich is built, it’s butter and salt time. Both of which, when combined, create a very unique and complex flavor profile.

The smoked salt by itself is sort of overwhelming. When I opened the container I almost gagged from the smell that bombarded my olfactory nerves. “How could anything this potent not overpower the other flavors?” I asked. I thought it was over for the salt and me. As I was on my way to toss it in the trash I began thinking about the money I spent on it so you know what I did? I tested it. I buttered a piece of bread and sprinkled some of it on and grilled it up. When the heat started to get to the salt, the smokiness seemed to fade and to my surprise, it made the underlying buttery notes even brighter. It’s kind of hard to explain but it even though it was crispy, it still tasted like real-uncooked-butter. Muy delicioso.

TLDR: smoked salt is weird at first but super good when grilled with cultured butter. Do it.

Smear on some butter and add a pinch of smoked salt to each side.

Turn your skillet to medium high and place the GC inside. It should take about four minutes on each for it to crisp up and become all melty and gooey and buttery and creamy and delicious and addicting and and and.

Then take it out the skillet, let it rest for a minute so that the flavors enhance, and serve!

For those of you that don’t live in the area, I’m sorry if this post is completely irrelevant to you. Using your own local ingredients will taste just as good when it’s all grilled and done. I’m just stoked on the quality of the products from Depanneur and felt compelled to share.

Oh AND, my book-give-away contest ends tomorrow and I wanted to thank all of you that have entered. I’ve gotten some great pics and can’t wait to announce the winners on my Facebook page tomorrow!

G’luck and have an awesome week!




  1. Mmmm … I'm allergic to pineapple but thumbs up to everything else. My current GC passion is: Schaller & Weber French Bistro Ham, Grafton Village Cheese Company Maple Smoked Cheddar, Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery Cultured Butter on Raisin Pumpernickel Bread.


  2. Love the tropical take on a classic sandwich girl! And the intertwined Espanol, claro. I will have to improvise and make it Flo' rida style! 😉


  3. Making a ham and cheese sandwich is a basic survival skill that should be learned by all those who do not object to pork. Choose your bread and condiments, then add ham and the cheeses to taste.


  4. “Now more cheese, more, MORE!”

    Couldn't have said it better myself. Grilled cheese sandwich kits should be included in first aid boxes as a basic necessity for survival.

    Love the simplicity of this sandwich, above all else.



  5. Pineapple is the way forward with cheese toasties. I've been eating them since I was a kid and all my London friends think it's the weirdest combo ever. But they don't understand how good it is.


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