Laura Werlin says you could use smoked, sweet, medium-hot or spicy paprika. From Werlin's "Grilled Cheese Please! 50 Scrumptiously Cheesy Recipes."
- 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pimentos, de la vera (Spanish paprika)
- 8 slices sandwich-size Italian bread
- 8 thin slices serrano ham (about 3 ounces) or 8 prosciutto (about 3 ounces)
- 4 ounces young mahon cheese, coarsely grated (you also can use fontina or American Muenster)
- 4 ounces manchego cheese, coarsely grated
- 4 fresh piquillo chilies, stems removed, slit lengthwise and opened like a book (can sub canned)
- In a small bowl, mix the butter and pimenton together.
- Spread the pimenton-butter mixture on one side of each of the bread slices. Place 4 slices of bread, buttered side down, on your work surface. Place 2 slices of ham on the bread. Distribute the cheeses over the ham. Lay the chiles over the cheese and top with the remaining bread slices, buttered side up.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Put the sandwiches into the pan, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the undersides are golden brown. Remove the cover and turn the sandwiches, pressing each one firmly with a spatula to compress the filling slightly. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the undersides are well-browned. Turn the sandwiches once more, press firmly with the spatula again, cook for 1 minute, and remove from the pan. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Cut in half and serve.
Delicious combination!!! All the ingredients complimented each other so well. Had to go to a specialty store to get the cheeses, ham, peppers. It was so worth it. This was loved by all as our lunch today. made for ZWT8.
The paprika butter, manchego cheese and peppers make this unforgettable!
First class sandwich! Exquisite taste! The premium ingredients of imported jamon serrano, Mahon cheese, and Manchego cheese all came through like stars with assertive flavor, yet complementing one another. The piquillo chiles were canned, although I would use either roasted red bell peppers or diced pimento in a pinch. The biggest surprise: DH and I ADORED the smoked paprika butter spread, it added sweetness while creating a gorgeous red-orange hue to the grilled bread. I was able to use only 4 ounces total of cheese for 4 sandwiches, so I have 4 ounces of shredded cheese ready for my next project. (Also, I think a cheese slicer rather than a grater would make it easier to layer on the cheese.) On the flip side, the amount of paprika-butter is just enough to spread a thin schmear on each slice of bread. When I can't get serrano ham, I would use prosciutto. My Cuisinart Griddler recipe book recommended using thickly sliced Italian bread. I splurged on this recipe for the most gourmet "grilled cheese sandwich" I have ever eaten, because "we are worth it." Thank you for sharing this recipe, Gail Ann. Made for THE WILD BUNCH of ZWT8 for our visit to Spain.