Wednesday, April 6, 2011
It's Grilled Cheese Month So Let's Grill Some Cheese
I have done a complete 180 in regards to sandwiches. Prior to starting our no reEATS challenge, it would have never occurred to me to make a sandwich and call that a meal but now, I can't stop making them. I have been doing panini style sandwiches with leftover roast meats but it seems that April is grilled cheese month so I am going to try to do a grilled cheese sandwich every week.
For my first grilled cheese, I baked a loaf of light whole wheat bread with poppy seeds. I wanted something nice and colourful and pretty and so I was thrilled to find some orange tomatoes and I started with those. Bright green watercress, roasted red pepper provided some pretty factor while the sautéed mushrooms gave it some earthiness and heft. After sampling the first one, I decided it needed either a spicy mustard or tapenade but since I didn't have tapenade, I added some sun dried tomato pesto and that was a good choice.
My Pretty Grilled Cheese
Two slices of poppy seed light whole wheat bread
kosher salt and black pepper
sun dried tomato pesto
sharp cheddar, either grated or sliced
orange tomato, sliced in thin slices
roasted red pepper strips
watercress, washed well and dried
mushrooms sautéed in butter and garlic
So, unless you have them lying around already prepared, you will want to slice up enough mushrooms and sauté them in some butter with a clove of garlic and kosher salt. It all depends on how many sandwiches you are making and how much you like mushrooms. I did about 10 good sized brown mushrooms and 1 tbls of butter, a pinch of kosher salt and I clove of garlic, chopped for two sandwiches.
You can use pre roasted peppers or roast your own, however you like to roast peppers. You can do that over a gas burner, in a hot oven, under the broiler, on a bbq.
Preheat a frying pan over medium heat
butter the outsides of the bread slices.
Onto one slice of bread, spread some sun dried tomato pesto onto the bread, buttered side down. Next add enough cheese to cover the bread (it's easier to work with sliced cheese). Add a couple of slices of tomato and kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Next comes the layer of sautéed garlicky, buttery mushrooms - that's the meat of your sammie. Add a couple slices of roasted pepper then pile some watercress on top of the mushrooms and finish with another couple of cheese slices. Add the second slice of bread, buttered side up, on the top of the sandwich.
Fry it in the frying pan until the cheese on the bottom starts to look all melty, at least a few minutes. Don't use a super hot pan or the sandwich will burn before the cheese can get all gooey - better to go slow and low. When it's time to turn, use a flipper and your hands to turn the sandwich really carefully or it will fall apart. Cook on the other side for the same amount of time or until you can see the cheese on the bottom melting. Don't worry if cheese oozes out and gets all crispy on the bottom of the pan - that's the best part!