It is my dear friend JJ's birthday today, and earlier in the week I called her saying, "I'm going to get you the waffle iron, okay?"
"NO PRESENTS JOANNE," she said.
"Come on! Let me get you the waffle iron! I want to get it for you so you can make your own Lemon Poppyseed Waffles."
"NO PRESENTS Joanne," she bellowed into the telephone.
"Really? Come on. Let me get this for you."
"NO PRESENTS!" she said firmly.
"Okay, okay. Fine."
She deflated my bubble. I was very excited to get it for her, but as my own birthday is coming in a few weeks, I didn't want her to feel like she had to get ME something on my birthday so I decided to listen (for once). Usually I would have just said, "WHATEVER" and gotten it for her, but in light of my own upcoming birthday, I held back.
But instead, I thought I'd try to convince her that this is an appliance that she would get great use out of. Yes, a waffle iron makes waffles, but did you know it also makes very yummy grilled cheese sandwiches? Husband INSISTS that this is his invention, but actually I did see it in a very very old issue of Gourmet, almost 5 years ago. It's somewhat easier making the grilled cheese in here and it's virtually error free and tastes really good. (Bonus - kids like the waffle texture and shapes!)
So JJ - NOW can I buy this for you?
Waffled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches (adapted from Gourmet Magazine)
Makes 8 sandwiches
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
16 slices firm white sandwich bread
8 thin slices boiled ham (1/4 lb)
8 thin slices Swiss cheese (1/4 lb)
Special equipment: a large square or rectangular electric waffle iron
Preheat waffle iron on high until just beginning to smoke. Reduce heat to moderate.
Spread butter on 1 side of 8 bread slices and turn slices over. (buttered side needs to be on the OUTSIDE of the sandwich so the waffle iron can toast it up.) Top 4 slices with 1 slice ham and 1 slice cheese, folding in any overhang, then top with remaining 4 buttered bread slices, buttered sides up. Cook sandwiches in batches (number of batches will depend on size of your waffle maker) until bread is golden and crisp, 4 to 6 minutes.
Assemble and cook 4 more sandwiches in same manner.
Just before serving, cut each sandwich into 4 triangles.Printable recipe
The waffle iron that makes my waffles and makes me these.