Friday, January 25, 2013

FROSTED: Say, "Cheese!"...Melts In Your Mouth and In Your Pan!


The weather in Tennessee has been pretty chilly these past few weeks, and my soup consumption has doubled. I have enjoyed spoonfuls of savory broccoli cheddar, healthy chicken noodle, and creamy tomato soup. It is often a tradition in my house to serve a delicious melty grilled cheese sandwich whenever we enjoy a piping hot bowl of tomato soup. But lately, that traditional old grilled cheddar sandwich has seemed very plain. I have been craving something unique with a more gourmet flavor.

So, this week I am sharing some scrumptious grilled cheese recipes that are not only filled with many types of ooey gooey cheeses, but also contain surprising ingredients that will compliment your next bowl of tomato soup. Just get out that cheese grater and slice up some of these scrumptious goodies that will be sure to "melt" in your mouth.

Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese
(Recipe from A Couple Cooks)


Ingredients:
(Yields 2 sandwiches)
  • Fresh spinach (about 3 cups washed, stemmed, and chopped)
  • Canned artichoke hearts (around 6 ounces), chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of sour cream
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese (this recipe uses a blend of mozzarella, monterrey jack and provolone)
  • 4 pieces of bread
  • Kosher salt
  • Butter or more olive oil
Directions:

1.  Heat about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Then add the spinach and a pinch of kosher salt, and saute for a few minutes until just limp. Add the artichokes and saute for another minute or so, until heated through. Drain off any liquid from the pan. Stir in 2 tablespoons of sour cream and another pinch of kosher salt.

2.  Spread butter (or olive oil) on one side of each of the 4 bread pieces. Heat a griddle pan to medium high heat. Place 2 pieces of bread on the griddle, buttered side down. On each piece, spread some shredded cheese, the spinach artichoke filling, and and some more cheese (1/2 cup of cheese per sandwich), and the other piece of bread. When the bottom bread is browned, flip the sandwich and cook until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.

 (Via Annie's Eats)

French Onion Soup Grilled Cheese
(Courtesy of BS' In The Kitchen)


Ingredients:
(Makes 1 sandwich)
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced
  • Pinch of thyme
  • Pinch of flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2-3 ounces of concentrated beef stock
  • 1/2-1 ounce of sherry
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of Gruyere cheese
  • 2 slices of french bread
  • Butter
Directions:

1.  Put a tablespoon of butter in a pan, on medium-low heat. Put onions in the pan. Stir the onions to coat them in the butter, and continue stirring only as often as needed to avoid sticking or burning. Your onions should begin to get a caramelized brown color after about a half an hour. Once they have caramelized, sprinkle your onion with a pinch of flour and thyme, stirring to mix in. Add your sherry, allowing it to reduce down and soak into the onions, then add in your beef stock and salt and pepper to taste, allowing to reduce as well.

2.  Butter every side of your bread, pile with your onions and your shredded Gruyere cheese and fry both sides in a pan on medium heat until golden brown.


 Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese
(Via Simply Scratch)

(Image by Jo Cooks)

Ingredients:
(Makes 2 sandwiches)
  • 4 large jalapeno peppers
  • 3-4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
  • 4-5 green onions, minced
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices of Colby Jack or Cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices of sourdough bread
  • Butter

 Directions:

1.  On a hot grill (or in your oven cranked to 450 degrees), char the jalapenos for about 10-15 minutes.

2.  Place charred jalapenos in a bag to steam. After about 10 minutes, gently peel off the skin. Slice off the tops and discard. Slice down one side of the pepper and carefully remove the seed and ribs of the pepper.

3.  Preheat the griddle to 375 degrees. Next combine the cream cheese, minced green onion, and black pepper in a small bowl. Spread desired amount of cream cheese on one slice of bread then layer the jalapenos and cheese. Butter the outer slices and griddle until golden and crispy.


Meatball Marinara Grilled Cheese
(Recipe by Tastespotting)


Ingredients:
(Yields 1 sandwich)
  • 2 slices of sturdy bread
  • 2 Tablespoons softened butter (mixed with 1 teaspoon very finely minced garlic)
  • 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese (or more)
  • 1 large meatball, carefully sliced into about 4 or 5 rounds, warmed
  • 1/4 cup of tomato/marinara sauce, warmed
  • 2 Tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil, chiffonade
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
Directions:

1.  Spread both slices of bread with garlic butter. Top each half with 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.

2.  Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium low heat. Place both slices of bread in pan with cheese facing up. Allow the bread to brown and the cheese melt. It will take about 6 or 7 minutes. Remove grilled bread from pan. If your meatball is cold (leftover) gently warm the slices in the pan, then remove to another plate.

3.  On one slice of bread, carefully arrange the warm/hot meatball slices. Spoon marinara sauce over meatballs, then sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Add a few ribbons of fresh basil, then cover the sandwich with the top half of the bread. Firmly press the sandwich together.



Caprese Grilled Cheese
(Via Cooking Classy)


Ingredients:
(Makes 1 sandwich)
  • 2 slices of fresh bread (sourdough or rustic white bread)
  • 3 ounces of fresh mozzarella, sliced into rounds or grated
  • 4 - 6 Roma tomato slices
  • 1 Tablespoon of chopped, fresh basil ribbons
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil or 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • 1/2 clove of garlic, for rubbing bread
Directions:

1.  Layer Mozzarella rounds in an even layer over one slice of bread followed by an even layer of sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle basil ribbons over top and season with ground black pepper to taste, then cover with remaining slice of bread.

2.  Drizzle 1 tsp olive oil in a non-stick skillet, heat over medium-low heat and tilt back and forth to evenly coat (heat the oil long enough for it to glide easily across the pan but don't heat it to smoking point before adding sandwich or the bread will toast before the cheese has a chance to melt. If using butter, spread 1/2 tbsp butter on both top and bottom of sandwich and heat skillet over medium heat), add sandwich, cover with lid and cook until sandwich is golden brown on bottom, about 2 minutes.

3.  Then lift sandwich out of skillet and drizzle remaining 1 tsp olive oil into skillet, tilt pan back and forth to evenly coat. Carefully flip sandwich to opposite side then return to skillet, cover with lid and continue to cook until bottom side is golden brown and cheese is melted through. Remove from skillet and lightly brush garlic clove along toasted sides of bread. Serve immediately.  

 
Loaded Nacho Grilled Cheese
(Courtesy of BS' In The Kitchen)


Ingredients:
(Yields 1 sandwich)
  • 2 slices of french bread
  • 1 Tablespoon of sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons of salsa
  • Tex Mex cheese
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of cooked ground beef
  • 1/8 teaspoon of taco seasoning
  • 1 green onion stalk (chopped)
  • 4-5 cilantro leaves
  • 1 slice of tomato (diced)
  • 1/4 of an avocado (diced)
  • 1-2 black olives (chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon of black beans
  • 1-2 slices of jalapeno pepper (chopped)
  • 1-2 handfuls of nacho flavoured Doritos (crumbled)
  • 1 egg (scrambled)
  • Butter

 Directions:

1.  Crush all the Doritos and spread them on a plate, dip one side of each slice in the egg and then into the Doritos. Once you have done this begin assembling the sandwich with sour cream on one slice, and salsa on the other. Next place a layer of cheese on the bottom slice, then stack on the rest of ingredients and finish with another layer of cheese and your top slice.

2.  In a pan on medium heat, add some butter, once that has melted, place your sandwich in, cooking each side until browned and the cheese is melting. You may want to cover your pan with a lid while it’s cooking to help the cheese melt.


Nothing could taste better than a decadent grilled cheese sandwich during cold weather! Impress your guests at this year's Super Bowl party with miniature grilled cheese sandwich appetizers, at your children's birthday party with a grilled cheese bar where kids can choose what ingredients they want inside their sandwiches, or at your sister's bridal shower luncheon where these cheesy sandwiches can be cut into tiny crouton sized pieces to top everyone's bowl of soup.

So, butter that bread and warm up that pan...and try some of these mouthwatering sandwiches that will become part of your new family and party dinner plan. Have a wonderful weekend!





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