Tag Archive for butter

Prepping for NGCM 2014

April, also known as National Grilled Cheese Month, will soon be upon us.  In preparation for this celebration of ooey, gooey sandwiches grilled up in delicious fat, I decided to make a grilled cheese tonight.  I give you the tomato basil cheddar, mozzarella, bacon grilled cheese.

Grilled cheese sandwich

Pay no attention to the half-eaten appetizer grilled cheese

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat bread
  • Unsalted butter
  • Cabot tomato basil cheddar
  • Mozzarella
  • Premium thick-cut bacon

Preparation:

cooking bacon

I first cooked a one-pound package of bacon in a large skillet.  After pouring out the bacon grease, I made sure to leave a coating within the pan to enhance the flavor of my bread.  My next step was to select the cheese from the secret stash in our fridge.

several types of cheese

Ok, so the stash isn’t super secret, but we do take cheese seriously in this house.  I buttered my bread, sliced up some cheese and built my sandwich in the skillet placing four bacon sliced in the layers of cheese.  I’ve talked before about knowing your bread and how it cooks.  Tonight I used new bread and slightly overcooked one side because I wasn’t familiar with it’s consistency.

The results were delicious.  The tomato basil cheddar and mozzarella merged well together.  The thin layer of bacon grease in the pan also added a noticeable and tasty flavor to the outside of my bread.  I would call this sandwich ground breaking or super special, but it really hit the spot after a long day at work.

 

Triple Decker Tomato-Onion-Grilled Cheese

A triple decker sandwich is generally defined as a sandwich containing three slices, or decks, of bread.  Some would argue a three-slice sandwich is only double-decked, but that’s just like their opinion, man.  This type of sandwich is always a good option when you want to have extra ingredients on the inside but are worried about the sandwich being too thick or flimsy for flipping.  This method reduces the amount of toppings in between the bread slices while maximizing the surface area for cheese to bond the bread and toppings together.

Ingredients:

  • Three slices whole wheat bread
  • Unsalted butter
  • Colby Jack cheese
  • American cheese
  • Sliced onion
  • Sliced tomato

Preparation:

Prepare your ingredients, slice your cheese and butter your bread.  One on my slices had a hole in the middle already so that automatically became my middle slice.  I like to preheat my pan to help the cooking process.  I also put my Colby Jack on the bottom half because I’m going to cook the bottom section longer than the top and this cheese will take longer to melt than the American.

IngredientsLayer 1Layer 2Cooking

The Flip:

Getting this kind of sandwich flipped over, or any grilled cheese for that matter, can be a bit tricky.  You need to turn it over quickly with spilling the sandwich’s contents as well as make sure your bread layers don’t become misaligned creating a leaning tower of cheesy bread.  Here are a few tips.

  • Pre-heat your pan to decrease total cooking time
  • Make sure your bottom bread layer is “set” and the cheese has melted before flipping
  • Slow-cooking longer is always a better idea than high heat for a quick meal
  • If your sandwich is in danger of falling apart, lift up your sandwich with a spatula, place the pan upside-down on top of your sandwich, and then flip the entire thing over in a controlled manner while holding firmly with pan and spatula

That’s how I easily got to this

imageimage

Now the only thing left to do is cook through your bottom layer and eat.  I often prefer ketchup with mine.  I call it the poor man’s tomato soup.

imageimageimage

P.S. – If you’re looking for a good beverage to pair with this sandwich, I highly suggest some Dr Pepper with fresh lime, or lime juice.

 

Buffalo Sausage Grilled Cheese

Tonight I made an epic grilled cheese sandwich to really celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month 2013 before May 1st sneaked up on me.  Last year I felt as if Leonardo Da Vinci himself inspired me to crush nacho Doritos onto the outside of my sandwich.  It was so rewarding, I had to try it again.  So without further adieu, I give you the Buffalo Sausage Grilled Cheese…

BSGC1

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Cook and season the ground sausage to taste
  2. Ground up some Doritos Jacked into a bowl
  3. Butter your bread and apply the crushed Doritos Jacked

    Buttered bread with Doritos Jacked applied

    Buttered bread with Doritos Jacked applied

  4. Place your bread into a skillet and apply a layer of gorgonzola

    Bread in skillet with Gorgonzola

    Bread in skillet with Gorgonzola

  5. Cover with ground sausage

    Sausage applied

    Sausage applied

  6. Cover with the top slices of bread, cooking on medium to medium-low heat

    Nominal to profile.  We're in the pipe.  Five by five.

    Nominal to profile. We’re in the pipe. Five by five.

Tips, thoughts and what have you:

Anytime you cook a grilled cheese with a crust of some sort, you have to make sure the crust sets without burning the sandwich.  You also don’t want to scrape the crust off when moving or flipping.  This means you’re only going to cook each side once.  Another problem that can arise is flipping a grilled cheese sandwich whose insides are not completely gelled together.  In this scenario, you have to flip quickly, but not too quickly, and make sure the pieces of bread don’t slide apart before you’ve turned it over.BSGC6

Both things happened with this sandwich, but I was able to make do.  You just have to be careful.  As far as taste goes, you really need to like bleu cheese if you’re going to make a grilled cheese sandwich with it.  The strong taste requires some strong co-ingredients to help balance things out.  Think about the other things with which you eat bleu cheese to get ideas.  I went with some flavorful sausage here.

Last year I used Nacho Doritos for a crust and this year I tried out the new Doritos Jacked because it seemed like they would go with the bleu cheese.  The chips were ok, but there also double thick and this affected how the crust formed and how the sandwich heated up.  I think the chips actually tasted better cooked than pre-cooked.BSGC7

Just for kicks I used the same skillet for the sausage cooking and sandwich making.  I left some of the grease in there and kind of wish I hadn’t.  It wasn’t horrible, but there was just a hint of sausage grease flavor on the bread I wasn’t really digging.  Next time I’ll go with a clean pan for the sandwich.

I originally tried both ranch and spaghetti sauce for dipping.  The ranch really clashed with the bleu cheese, but the spaghetti sauce was AMAZING.  This sandwich was very rich and definitely hearty.  It probably wasn’t a great idea for me to try and tackle two of them at once.Buffalo Sausage Grilled Cheese

Cheddar-Bacon-Pepper jack Grilled Cheese

So many people are looking for my old grilled cheese posts from version 1 of this blog, I’ve decided to re-post a few.  This one is a cheddar bacon pepper jack grilled cheese made by my special lady friend back in April of 2011.

Ingredients:

  • Two slices of bread
  • Unsalted butter
  • Two slices medium cheddar cheese
  • Two or three slices pepper jack cheese
  • Bacon

Directions:

  1. Take one buttered slice of bread and lay in pre-heated pan
  2. Place cheddar, then bacon, then pepper jack on top of bread
  3. Top off with other slice of buttered bread
  4. Cook on medium heat until each side is golden brown

Slow cooking is important on a sandwich such as this one.  It’s important to melt the cheese all the way through without burning the bread.  It will take longer before your sandwich is done, but it’s definitely worth the wait.  Have I mentioned I like ketchup with my grilled cheese yet?

Spicy Breakfast Sandwich

Spicy Breakfast Sandwich

Scrambled eggs with cayenne and chopped onions added as filling to a grilled cheese sandwich

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • Two slices of whole wheat bread
  • Four slices of Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar
  • Two eggs
  • Chopped onions (optional)
  • Cayenne pepper (optional
  • Unsalted butter

Directions:

  1. Scramble your eggs to taste
    1. I sauteed some onions and added the cayenne to spice things up

      Spicy Breakfast Sandwich 1

      Rough scramble – I dropped the eggs into the hot pan with the sauteed onions and while they’re frying I mixed them up with a wooden spoon

  2. Butter your bread and slice your cheese
  3. You can use the same pan for the eggs and cheese, you’ll just need to temporarily move the finished eggs to a plate/bowl while you build your sandwich
  4. Place one piece of buttered toast in the pan with the cheeseSpicy Breakfast Sandwich 2
  5. Add the scrambled eggs on top of the cheese
    1. TIP: Sometimes you need cheese on both sides of the “sandwich” to help keep the insides together.  I didn’t do that with this sandwich  but I took extra care when flipping the sandwich to keep everything together.
    2. I also added some extra cayenne on top (optional)

      Spicy Breakfast Sandwich 3

      Ok, I realize this may look like an insane amount of cayenne. Feel free to substitute any “spice” you prefer. Even black pepper would work well here.

  6. Cover with the other slice of bread and cook on medium heat until the bottom bread is firm and golden brown, and then flip to cook the other sideSpicy Breakfast Sandwich 6

Cheddar Cheetah

Cheddar Cheetah

Cheddar grilled cheese sandwich with crunchy Cheetos added as filling

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • Two slices of whole wheat bread
  • Unsalted butter
  • Four slices of Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar
  • Cheetos
  • Spicy brown mustard

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat a skillet at medium heat (non-stick spray suggested)
  2. Butter the two slices of bread and slice the cheese
  3. Place one slice of bread into the skillet, lay out the cheese and cover with an appropriate amount of CheetosChester Cheddar 1
  4. Apply mustard and cover with other slice of breadChester Cheddar 2
  5. Cook until bottom slice of bread is firm and golden brown, and then flip to cook the other sideChester Cheddar 3

Spicy Mac n Cheese

Last night I was craving some nachos so I cut up some lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and olives, browned hamburger, and made some nacho cheese.  Now the term “nacho cheese” can mean many things.  Some people just love that nasty, thick yellow stuff that comes in a can.  It has its place, but it’s not that good in the grand scheme of things.  Some people like it spicy, others mild.  The one thing to remember is no matter what your opinion is of processed cheese, it certainly melts well and is consistent.

I don’t have exact recipes for many things I regularly prepare.  I say this because I don’t really have measurements for some things.  I just add a little until it looks or tastes right.  Here’s what I did for my nacho cheese last night.

  • 1 box Velveeta
  • 2 cans Rotel
  • dried, minced garlic
  • ground coriander
  • chili powder
  • dried ground habanero
  • dried ground hatch
  • dried ground cayenne
  • oregano
  • crushed red peppers
  • Phoenix Death Sauce

This makes a pretty decent pot of cheese.  If you leave the water in with the rotel, it thins the cheese out a bit and it doesn’t congeal into a block of “velveeta” again after it has cooled.  The “death sauce” added a little liquid as well.  Whenever  I have left over cheese I often combine it with something else.  This afternoon I added it to some mac n cheese.  Here’s what I threw together today.

  • 1 double-box of Kraft Mac n cheese
  • 3 tsp butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • @ 1 cup nacho cheese (I’m guesstimating here)
  • 1 can tuna packed in water
  • small handful of chopped onions.

It turned out pretty well.  Just enough spice for me.  What do you do with your left overs?  One of the first ways I started experimenting with food was to modify mac n cheese and hamburger helper meals.