Today, we are remaking the ordinary, yet ever popular ham and swiss deli sandwich into a Tex-Mex Ham and Swiss Quesadilla Sandwich! By adding chilies from the Southwest, along with a couple of pantry ingredients, we can turn something as simple as a ham and swiss sandwich into a southwestern affair.
Any type of ham will work in this sandwich. I used Boar's Head Deluxe ham and Jarlsberg Swiss cheese in this recipe - however, a smoky black forest or Virginia ham would also add a great flavor to this sandwich and a pepper jack cheese would add a little more zest. You can usually find three sizes of flour tortillas in the grocery store - small, medium and burrito size (I used medium) as they were easier to work with.
3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
4 large flour tortillas
2 fresh jalapeņos, seeded and finely diced
1 small white onion, diced
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup sweet hot dog relish
Yellow mustard (French's)
1 lb. deli ham (your favorite, thinly sliced)
2 tsp. red Chile pepper flakes
1/3 lb. swiss cheese (Jarlsberg, Finlandia or domestic)
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over a medium heat in a skillet. Add the onions, diced jalapeņo, salt and pepper. Cook stirring often until the onions become opaque. Remove from the heat and stir in the sweet hot dog relish. Set aside.
2. Using 1 tbsp. of olive oil, brush the bottom and top sides of the flour tortillas. These are the sides that will be grilled. Spread the yellow mustard on the top and bottom of each tortilla followed by a thin layer of the onion relish mixture. Divide the ham and layer this on top of the onions and sprinkle evenly with the red Chile pepper flakes. Top evenly with the Swiss cheese and spread another layer of the onion relish on top.
3. There are three ways you can cook your quesadilla.
A. Place the quesadillas on a sheet pan and cook for approximately 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. in the oven.
B. Preheat a Panini press and grill until golden, crispy and the cheese has melted.
C. Preheat an outdoor grill on medium heat, cook for approximately 8 minutes, flipping the quesadilla over once halfway through cooking.
Let the quesadilla sandwich cool a little before cutting it into wedges.