Grilled Smithfield Ham and Cheese with Blackberry Mustard

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This recipe was prepared by Chef John Maxwell on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s weekly television program.

Maxwell, a certified executive chef, culinary educator and member of the American Academy of Chefs, shares delicious seasonal recipes in a Real Virginia segment sponsored by Virginia Grown, a program of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Grilled Smithfield Ham and Cheese with Blackberry Mustard

1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
¼ cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sugar (slightly more or less depending on the tartness of the berries)
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 pinch cayenne pepper
3 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 slices Italian bread
1 pound sliced Smithfield Ham
1 cup shredded semisoft Italian cheese (such as fontina)

In a small saucepan, combine the blackberries, Dijon mustard, sugar, honey, rosemary and cayenne. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then simmer for about 20 minutes, until syrupy, stirring frequently.

Butter one side of each piece of bread. Spread blackberry mixture on the other side of four slices. Top the blackberry side with sliced ham and shredded cheese. Top each stack with one slice of the remaining buttered bread, butter side up. Heat a skilled to medium-high, and add the sandwiches. Cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Serves 4.

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