Pastrami,White Cheddar and Apple Grilled Cheese on French Bread

Originally called “Johnny Apple Cheese“, aka Johnny Pastrami by , this hearty grilled cheese sandwich features an apple butter, Dijon mustard and honey spread that is a perfect complement to the thinly sliced apples that are layered in along with the beef pastrami and white cheddar cheese. I first saw this recipe in Fine Cooking and was intrigued not only by the beautiful image of the sandwich with enticing drips of melted cheese, but also by the name of the sandwich.

Eric Greenspan graduated from the Berkley Hass School of Business and the Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Paris and has worked with the top chefs in the world. However, he is well known for his grilled cheese sandwiches, having been inspired to transform the traditional cheese plate into a sandwich. His premier sandwich, dubbed-The Champ, was filled with taleggio cheese, raisin walnut bread, apricot caper puree and beef short ribs.

Instead of using the homemade apple chutney that Chef Greenspan uses, a tangy apple spread made from apple butter, Dijon mustard and honey mimics the chutney flavors perfectly-  Fine Cooking

While the recipe calls for sourdough bread, I thought my homemade French bread loaf made a good substitute.

Pastrami, White Cheddar and Apple Grilled Cheese

  • 3 tablespoons apple butter
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 4- 1/2-inch thick slices sourdough or French bread
  • 8 ounces white cheddar cheese, thinly sliced or coarsely grated (about 2 cups)
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced salami
  • 6-10 thin slices of apple, honey crisp is a good choice
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  1. Combine the apple butter, honey, Dijon  mustard and a pinch of the salt in a bowl. Spread on both sides of the bread and top with half the cheese and half the pastrami. On top of that, layer the sliced apple, overlapping slightly, and the remaining cheese. Repeat with the other two slices of bread to make two sandwiches.
  2. In a heavy duty skillet over low heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter until lightly browned. Add the sandwiches and cook, adjusting heat if necessary, until golden brown on one side. Flip, adding the remaining tablespoon of butter, and cook, lifting the edges of the bread to allow the butter to run under. Again, adjust the heat as necessary, until the cheese has melted and other side is a golden brown. Slice in half and serve.

Easy French Bread Loaf

Using the bread machine to process the dough, then baking the bread in a conventional oven makes this an easy everyday bread.

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1-1/3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  1. Process the ingredients according to the manufacturer’s instruction for basic bread dough. When cycle has completed, remove the dough from the machine to a lightly floured surface. Punch down and let rest, covered, about 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Using your palms and fingers, flatten the dough into an oval about three times the width of your baking pan. Fold over the edges, as if you were making an envelope. Place the loaf in the pan, seam side down, ends tucked under. This ensures a loaf that is higher in the middle and rounded on top.
  3. Place the bread in the preheated oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove the loaf from the pan and let cool on a rack. For a softer crust, immediately rub the top of the loaf lightly with butter.

The black and white image above is my contribution to Black and White Wednesday #151, hosted this week by Sanhita from the blog, Pocket Full of Spices. BWW is an ongoing blog event begun in July 2011 by the talented Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. Susan handed the reins over to the also talented Cinzia of, Cindy Star Blog. It is a delight to post my black and white culinary images to this event.


Please do not use images or text without my permission. 


  1. Rosa's Yummy Yums
    November 20, 2014 / 6:27 pm

    A wonderful sandwich and mouthwatering combination!Cheers,Rosa

  2. Lynne Daley
    November 22, 2014 / 2:36 pm

    Thanks, Rosa-the sandwiches are divine and the apple plus the apple butter mustard spread is a perfect complement to the pastrami and white cheddar.

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