Served at Rex Health Care’s Cibo Grill concept, the Bavarian Ham & Cheese Melt is part of a menu of “redefined sandwiches and sides,” says Ryan Conklin, executive chef.
“We wanted to go beyond the average burger,” he says, adding that the pickles are part of the hospital’s Carolina Smokehouse and Pickling Program, which also includes house-made corned beef, Canadian bacon, sauerkraut and turkey pastrami.
“A lot of restaurants are making their own pickles now, so I said, ‘Why not us, too?’ Our pickles are superior to the product we were using, and it’s cheaper to do,” Conklin says. “And the big benefit to doing your own pickling is that you can experiment with different flavors. Now, we’re developing pickles using habanero peppers.” Click here for the Spicy Garlic Pickles recipe.
2 oz. sliced yellow onions
½ tsp. caraway seed
olive oil, as needed
4 oz. thinly sliced Black Forest ham
1 oz. thinly sliced Gruyere cheese
1 fresh-baked pretzel roll
4 thin slices house-made pickles
2 oz. horseradish-mustard aioli
1. Caramelize onions with caraway seeds in a small amount of oil until soft, about 10 to 15 minutes (can be done ahead of time and reheated to order).
2. Heat ham on grill, and top with caramelized onions and cheese and allow cheese to melt.
3. Lightly toast the pretzel roll and top with ham, cheese and pickles. Spread horseradish aioli on top part of bun.
Photo: Jim McGrody; Recipe: Ryan Conklin