Friday, July 1, 2011

Gooey Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Category: Miscellaneous
Difficulty Rating: Very Easy-Easy
Unhealthy

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches have been raised in recent years from being just a comfort food to being an ART! One of the restaurants responsible for this is the "American Grilled Cheese Kitchen" in San Francisco. They make the ooey-gooey-ist grilled cheese sandwiches you have ever tasted. I know...'cos I found their recipe in a newspaper article.  Alan and I went there one day to try it only to find it closed for remodeling! So we went across the street and chortled at each other whilst woofing down cheeseburgers and wine.  I have modified the first recipe from the original. It truly is, for all it's simplicity, one of the best recipes in this blog. It's former name is "The Popper", but I call it the "Big Cheese".

I dedicate this to my brother Jim who loves grilled cheese sandwiches and wanted this recipe after I described it to him. Hi Jim!

The "Big Cheese"
 Ingredients:

2 slices sliced french bread
2 T butter
2 oz. Monterey Jack cheese
1 T Chevre cheese
2 slices Apple-Smoked Bacon (cooked) or Vegetarian Bacon (also cooked)
Jalapeno/ Apricot Jelly ("Joy's Peach-Jalapeno Jam" is good--at Shopper's Corner in SC) or any good Red Pepper Jelly

Directions:

Butter one side of each slice of bread thoroughly. Spread approx. 1/2 oz of Chevre cheese on one slice of bread on the unbuttered side. Layer on top of this 2 oz. of sliced Monterey Jack cheese and 2 slices cooked bacon. On the unbuttered side of other piece of bread, spread approx. 1 T jam or jelly. Place the first piece of bread, cheese/bacon side up into a hot skillet that has been greased with about 1/4 t butter. Immediately place second piece of bread buttered side up, jam side down, on top of this. Cook sandwich, covered, for 2-3 minutes, then flip over with a spatula. Cook other side for another 2-3 minutes or until bread is toasted brown on both sides and cheese is melted. Feel free to press down sandwich with spatula on second side to make it brown faster.
Cut in half and serve. Ooooooooooooooh!

This next recipe was featured on the same show's segment on the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. It was also in the June 2011 issue of People magazine. I altered this one both for convenience and economy. The original name was the "Moscone Grilled Cheese Sandwich". So I named this the "Moscone 2".

The Moscone 2
Ingredients:

5-6 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil and drained on paper towels
2 medium-thick slices country-style white bread
4 t salted butter, softened
2 t pesto sauce (make your own or buy some in the frozen section)
2 oz. Fontina cheese-sliced thin
2 oz. Mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
2 t chopped Kalmata olives, pitted
Directions:

Spread butter on the outside of each bread slice. Spread pesto on un-buttered side of 1 slice. Cover pesto side with Italian Fontina. Top with sun-dried tomatoes, followed by mozzarella. Distribute olive pieces on un-buttered side of second bread slice and place on top of sandwich. Heat a cast iron pan or a griddle over medium heat. Cook sandwich, covered , for 2-3 minutes. Flip sandwich over and cook, covered, for another 2-3 minutes until bread is toasted and cheese is melted. Serve with a glass of chilled white wine and apples!

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