The grilled cheese sandwich is a very celebration of comfort. From purists who wouldn't dream of anything but two slices of buttery white bread containing a melted slice or two of American cheese to the more adventurous cheeselover, I know very few people who will turn down a hot, slightly greasy grilled cheese sandwich.
My favorite incarnation is with slightly sweet wheat bread, buttered liberally, with sliced Muenster and a slice or two of ripe, fresh tomato. I won't turn down bacon, either, if offered. But I'm not going to lie: I've eaten grilled cheese sandwiches made with Wonder Bread and "grilled" by an iron. I'm not all that picky about my grilled cheese.
April is National Grilled Cheese Month. What better time to roll out a hot and cheesy sandwich for lunch or dinner?
At The Small Boston Kitchen, the blogger with a "wicked small kitchen" reminisced about her childhood grilled cheese sandwiches as part of her post featuring a Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon Apple Jam:
As a kid, I can remember sitting at the kitchen table, wearing my She-Ra t-shirt as my Mom stood over the stove and made me a grilled cheese sandwich. It was pure perfection: two pieces of American cheese on Wonderbread, the outsides of the bread slathered with a smears of butter and fried up in a hot pan until crispy on the outside and melty on the inside. Since then I've graduated to more "grown-up" versions consisting of varying imported cheeses and fancy condiments, but it's still a classic. Similar to pizzas, burgers, paninis and tacos, the grilled cheese is a blank canvas that's just waiting to be painted with flavor and variety.
Sarah of Sarah's Cucina Bella used to get Burger King employees to make grilled cheese sandwiches for her out of an inside-out hamburger bun and a slice of American cheese. "A cheeseburger, hold the burger, if you will," she writes. But her grown-up tastes have changed, and she shares a recipe for Grilled Cheddar and Ham on an Onion Roll.
Cheesewench of Cheese is Alive chose to go in a more dessert-like direction with her grilled cheese sandwich.
My inspiration was the New England classic, apple pie and cheddar cheese. For those of you not familiar with this tasty treat, typically the cheese (white cheddar) is melted on top of the pie. The pie is all warm and nummy and the cheese is just melty enough. I wanted to see if I could do a recreation of that in sandwich form.
With extra sharp Cheddar, an ashy and tangy goat cheese, and crabapple spread, this sandwich provides a mix of unique flavors.
Those who choose to eat a vegan or dairy-free diet don't have to be left out of the grilled cheese extravaganza. Ashley Skabar of About.com highlights a number of vegan grilled cheese recipes and lists her favorite dairy-free cheese substitutes.
What's your favorite grilled cheese preparation? What is the most interesting grilled cheese recipe you've tried? Share your stories in the comments below.
Photo by mastermaq, shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0) License.
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