Friday, August 10, 2012

Not Your Average Sandwich - GRILLED CHEESE!!!!

Let's face it, it's hard not to like a sandwich. A good sandwich often incorporates your four basic food groups and even the simple Peanut Butter and Jam has three of them (OK, well, maybe jam isn't exactly fruit, but it's close!). They're quick, easy to make and easy to make tasty! Sure, they can get pretty complicated, but simplicity is usually the name of the sandwich game.

There is, however, one variation of the sandwich that's maybe a bit more complicated than slapping some meat and bread together but might be the pinnacle of comfort food and is probably one of the first things we ever cooked as children using heat. I'm talking, of course, about the Grilled Cheese sandwich (I'll ignore that any suspense about that fact was ruined by the post's title).

I find it funny how we've tried to 'pretty up' the grilled cheese by using fancy machines and calling it a "panini" (just teasing, I know paninis aren't quite the same thing, but there is some correlation). When I was a kid, we'd use the flat end of a waffle iron, slather white bread with butter (because, thankfully, margarine was something my mother would simply not accept in her kitchen) and throw on processed cheese slices (ok, so we avoided margarine yet used plastic cheese, I'm still confused about it).

Since then, I've seen numerous sandwich presses come and go, none of which I could figure out how to use properly, and had basically given up on the grilled cheese as more trouble to make than it's worth.

But somewhere along the line, I was shown the simplest and best way to make grilled cheese and the only implements you needed were a pan and a spatula (and a stovetop, obviously).

Here's the basic formula for Grilled Cheese:

For one sandwich:


- 1 tsp softened butter
- 2 slices of bread (I'm a fan of multi-grain or rye bread)
- 4-5 slices of Old Cheddar (or whatever cheese you like, but this is the most common cheese I use)


- Spread softened butter on one side of each slice of bread.
- Heat pan on medium-high heat.
- Place one piece of bread butter-side down in the pan.
- Add cheese and top with other slice of bread, butter-side up.
- Brown bread until crispy and golden. Flip and do the same on the other side. During this process, your cheese should be melting nicely.
- Once both sides are golden brown, remove from heat, cut in half and serve.

Fairly simple, right?

Now, while this might be sufficient a snack for any of us, who doesn't want to pimp their sandwich a little?

Case in point, I made a Grilled Cheese featuring Pulled Pork, Blue Cheese and Smoked Cabbage.
Let's see how it went!

First layer - cheese! Old Cheddar on one side, crumbled Blue Cheese on the other. The bread is a light rye.

Next, the Pulled Pork.
Layer 3 - the Smoked Cabbage.

Then I fried it up as normal and served it with a salad of mixed greens and pickled veggies.

The finished product!

Needless to say, it was decadently delicious, but I recommend only having one at any given time (unless you enjoy a protuberant belly).
And if you're thinking I'm being a Grilled Cheese show-off, I got nothing on this blogger:

Alright, that's it for today! Enjoy the cheesy snarfing!

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