Tag Archive for grilled cheese

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

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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.

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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

National Grilled Cheese Month 2013

If you weren’t aware, April is National Grilled Cheese Month here in the US of A.  I’m a huge fan of the cheesy sandwich in its many forms.  To kick off the month I’d like to share some past creations.

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IMG_0154

chedder-bacon-pepper_jack2

Grilled Cheese

Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful grilled cheese month this year.  If you’re looking for recipes to kick things off, a great place to start is the Grilled Cheese Academy which can be found at their site or on Facebook.

GCM 2012: Week 1

Round 1:

In this first week of National Grilled Cheese Month 2012, Liz and I decided to stick with the basics. We made a few grilled cheese sandwiches with your run of the mill wheat/white bread and your standard cheeses. Here are some of the results.

You’ll see in the above images our first round of creation centered around Kroger Wheat Bread and American singles.  Nothing too exciting, but we stuck with the basics.  I got slightly inspired and added some Spicy Nacho Doritos to one, but it didn’t turn out too well.  Since the chips were cooked in the cheese they became soggy and very un-crunchy.  Give it whirl yourself and tell us what you think.

Round2:

Being unable to stay as plain as before, we added a couple new cheeses into the mix and some sliced turkey breast to liven things up.  My grilled cheese used a mixture of colby jack and sharp cheddar while Liz’s utilized the sharp cheddar and turkey.

We have a progression of images showing the cheese ooze out of that last sandwich, but I’m having trouble piecing them together into something that looks good.  If you’re starting to make grilled cheese for the first time, I have a few tips for you:

  • Stay simple
  • Try to use pre-cut slices of cheese or cut them thinly
  • Use low heat when cooking on the stovetop
  • Don’t forget to butter your bread
  • Non-stick pans work well

Liz and I are both blogging grilled cheese this month.  You can find her Week 1 posts here:

We’d love to know how you’re celebrating.

Grilled Cheese Month 2012

Something very important is going to happen Sunday.  2012’s National Grilled Cheese Month will begin.  Have you asked yourself, “What would Ron Swanson do,” lately?

Grilled CheeseGrilled Cheese

Inside-out grilled cheese

The inside-out grilled cheese sandwich has cheese cooked into the outside of the bread.  Fortunately people don’t adhere too closely to the title because there is still plenty of cheese on the inside.

Cheese cooked into the outer crust

I first heard about these from the infamous Alton Brown.  He uses two giant frying pans and cooks his grilled cheese in between the two hot, heavy, cast iron pans.  While this doesn’t seem worth the work I must point out his use of brown mustard.  The mustard can be really amazing.

Fast forward a few years to the 9th Annual Lebowski Fest.  Greg and I are up late talking about food (cause what else would we talk about besides movies?) and this method of grilled cheese comes up.  I’m inspired and decided to make one later that year.

Tonight I made a simple cheddar and mozzarella grilled cheese with a mozzarella crust.  Nothing fancy, but sometimes less is more.  Here are some photos.  I mostly post these because of how much people talk about them.  Sorry if I make you drool.