Friday, April 29, 2011

Cheddar and Mango Grilled Cheese

Well folks, this will be my last grilled cheese post for the month of April. It's been fun bringing you gourmet combinations of cheese and bread. Do you have a favorite?

Cheddar and mango -- funny combination, don't you think? I first had a cheddar mango grilled cheese when my brother-in-law discovered a recipe for "grown-up grilled cheese." I'm not sure where he got it from, but there was a gorgonzola and honey version, and a cheddar and mango chutney version. Both were amazing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grilled Gruyere and Pesto Sandwich

Pesto, my friends, is so wonderfully exquisite. Don't you think? How do you like to eat it? As a dip, spread, or sauce? Or all of the above? My latest favorite is to slather it thick on bread, add some inviting gruyere cheese, and grill it in a pan. I can't begin to describe how tasty this is.

Yes, pesto can be a bit pricy. If you have a sunny spot outside on a deck or in your yard, consider getting a basil plant. They're pretty easy to take care of, and you can harvest it to make fresh pesto. Combine with parmesan, olive oil, pine nuts, and maybe some garlic. You can also make cilantro pesto or even wheatgrass pesto. All are good options, each slightly different.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Smoked Salmon Grilled Cheese

Look at that big, beautiful slab of salmon. I love it. Smoked salmon is one of those things I can't help but splurge on every couple of months. It's a tricky thing to buy, though, because you have to take into consideration where it comes from in order for it to be sustainable. A good source for buying salmon and other seafood is montereybayaquarium.org. It looks like wild caught Alaskan sockeye salmon is a good choice, among others. I've also read that farmed salmon and other farmed fish may not be as high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which is what the fish is known for. All in all, I don't buy fish on regular basis because a) it's overwhelming and b) it can be expensive. But it sure is delicious.

This grilled cheese is kind of cheating because I didn't actually grill anything, although I'm sure if I did, it would make the sandwich even more decadent. Instead, I hauled the ingredients to work for lunch. I mixed capers with cream cheese, slathered it on toast, topped it with smoked salmon, and had a wonderful sandwich that was simple to make. If you'd like to grill it, build your sandwich and cook it in some olive oil in a pan.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Proscuitto and Havarti Grilled Cheese

And we're back with another ooey gooey handheld mess of protein and carbs. Yes, folks, more grilled cheese. But you were expecting it, right? Today's feature is delightfully flavorful proscuitto complemented by high quality Havarti and marinated roasted red peppers on thinly sliced whole wheat baguette. Go make one now, how can you not after that description?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Grilled Sun-dried Tomato and Goat Cheese

Just look at that. Mouthwatering, right? The flavors in the sandwich sing together in perfect harmony. At least that's what my taste buds tell me; I hope yours will sing the same tune.

This lovely little recipe came together in my head about a month ago. I wanted sun-dried tomato pesto paired with goat cheese on crispy, chewy bread. I searched for a sun-dried tomato pesto recipe, and the first one that caught my eye is from 101 Cookbooks Red Pesto Ravioli recipe. I have yet to try this recipe in its entirety, but I fully intend to, hopefully by making whole wheat ravioli some day. For now, I borrowed the sun-dried tomato pesto part.

Let me tell you, it's delicious. And really easy, too. I blended the pesto in a food processor, but I imagine it would come together well in a blender too. Her recipe calls for walnuts or pine nuts. I used walnuts with great success, which I was glad for, since pine nuts are crazy expensive. She also uses sun-dried tomatoes not packed in olive oil; I've only ever used oil packed, so that's what I went with.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April is National Grilled Cheese Month! [Classic Grilled Cheese]


Yes, I'm serious. It really is National Grilled Cheese month...along with National Humor Month, National Garden Month, and International Guitar Month. But for our purposes, we'll stick with the grilled cheese.

I grew up eating grilled cheese and tomato soup. It was tasty, especially with Saltines crushed on top of the soup, but in recent years I have, shall we say, expanded my repertoire. Although the recipe I'm going to post today is pretty standard, for the rest of the month of April I'm going to bring you gourmet (but easy) versions of the classic grilled cheese.

But first, tell me -- how do you like grilled cheese? With tomato slices, or dunked in tomato soup? With funky cheese? Fancy bread? My favorite way to eat classic grilled cheese is with ketchup. A crisp sandwich, melty cheese, and a squirt of ketchup on the side. Justin loves ketchup, and will even have it on well-seasoned roasted potatoes, so when he eats his grilled cheese, he has practically 1 squirt of ketchup per 3 bites.