— a culinary journal —

Grown Up Grilled Cheese

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Grilled Cheese sandwiches seem to be the “in” thing right now. Innovative versions are all over the web. Restaurants focusing on just customized grilled cheese sandwiches are popping up everywhere too.

Many years ago when I was a child, I despised grilled cheese sandwiches. The thought of bread grilled with a melting cheesy middle was my worst nightmare (what was I thinking??). Many a grilled cheese sandwich ended up hidden in the bottom of the trash can when my mom turned her back. Sorry mom, I confess, I never ate those grilled cheese sandwiches! I bet she already knew- moms always know about that kind of thing.

As I grew up I realized the error in my ways and now actually like them— a lot!

Our lunch today- warm, simple and comforting for a cloudy Saturday afternoon.

Three kinds of grilled cheese with a side of skillet roasted cherry tomatoes and crispy potatoes.

Make the sides first as warm sandwiches are best served–warm. Use a good, fresh loaf of bread.

Skillet Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Add a teaspoon of your favorite olive oil to a skillet, with the heat on a medium setting. Once the oil is warm add the tomatoes. Be sure to shake the skillet a bit so all the tomatoes get covered in oil. Change the heat to low and let the tomatoes cook well without burning or breaking down. Just about 10 minutes.

Optional- add a finely chopped clove of garlic to the oil.

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Crispy Potatoes

You need a couple of potatoes boiled whole and peeled. It’s best if this is done a day or even a few hours earlier so the potatoes don’t crumble when you cut them. It’s best to use a non starchy potato like red or yukon gold.

Add a teaspoon of your favorite olive oil (or butter if you are not vegan) to a skillet, with the heat on a medium setting.

Just cut the potatoes into slices.  When the oil is heated add the potatoes evenly across the pan without overlapping.

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When one side is cooked, flip the potatoes over and cook the other side.

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Grilled Cheese #1- Spinach, Avocado & Provolone

Bread: Fresh french loaf cut into thin slices.

Filling: a few leaves of freshly washed baby spinach topped with a thin slice of provolone cheese and freshly sliced avocadoes.

Assemble and add to a skillet heated with a little olive oil. Flip when one side is cooked to cook the other.

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Grilled Cheese #2- Manchego & Green Olives

Bread:  Fresh Rosemary, thyme loaf cut into thin slices.

Filling: grated Manchego cheese (a popular cheese from Spain) with topped with sliced green olives.

Assemble and add to a skillet heated with a little olive oil. Flip when one side is cooked to cook the other.

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Grilled Cheese #3- TBM (Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella)

Bread: Fresh Rosemary, thyme loaf cut into thin slices.

Filling: a few chunks of fresh mozzarella topped with a couple of the roasted cherry tomatoes made earlier sliced (you can use fresh tomatoes instead) and a sprinking of dried basil (I didn’t have any fresh basil at home but that works great).

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Assemble and add to a skillet heated with a little olive oil. Flip when one side is cooked to cook the other.

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Enjoy your meal!

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