Did you know that April is National Grilled Cheese Month? I am not sure who decides these types of things, but what the heck, I love grilled cheese and it sounds like as good a reason as any to celebrate. I ran across this reference to grilled cheese month when a couple of the blogs that I regularly read mentioned it and posted their own versions of grilled cheese sandwiches. WOW, I had never considered some of the possibilities.
My own experience in this area, although vast, is pretty simple, just your basic grilled cheese with two slices of sandwich bread and whatever cheese I have in the fridge. If I am feeling a little adventuresome I might add sliced pickles or maybe tomato slices. I think those simple days are over based on what I have just discovered.
Maria at two peas & their pod posted a recipe for Parmesan Crusted Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Does that not look amazing?
Marla at Family Fresh Cooking shared recipes for incredible sandwiches like, Gourmet Grilled Cheese with Marinated Mozzarella, Apple Pie Grilled Cheese and Strawberry Mozzarella. Who would have thought?
By the way, Marla is also a great photographer!
In honor of National Cheese Month, and really because I was dying to try a few of these variations, I made grilled cheese sandwiches for our dinner last night. When I mentioned the plan to Dave, he said, “You are going to put meat on mine, right?” I just do not understand his need to have “das fleisch” (meat in German) at each meal. So, I headed to the store to get some really good bread for our sandwiches and some “das fleish.” I came home with Braided Vienna bread which has a soft, moist body with a crispy, flaky crust. I also picked up some VOLPI Romano Salame which is a pepper-encrusted pork salami. I knew Dave would love that.
I was having a really hard time deciding which to make so I settled on making four different varieties using the recipes from the blogs above as inspiration. In line with our attempts at eating healthier these days, I decided to make open face versions and then share them since most of these ingredients would not be considered low fat or low calorie. Please note, I passed on the “das fleish” version!
To begin, I melted butter for brushing on the bottoms of each piece of bread. Then I assembled the different sandwiches:
#1 – Salami and Cheese (I made two of these, one with cheddar cheese and one with mozzarella.)
#2 – Thinly sliced apples and cheddar cheese
#3 – Sliced strawberries and mozzarella cheese
#4 – Pesto and parmesan cheese.
Because they were open-faced, the cheese on the top did not melt very quickly. Looking back I should have put them under the broiler for a few minutes or even used the broiler instead of the grill. No matter, the results were amazing.
My absolute favorite was the pesto and parmasan cheese, followed closely by the apples and strawberry versions. Dave loved his salami style as well as the apple and pesto, but did not care for the strawberry sandwich. We loved these sandwiches so much that we made them again today for lunch. I stuck with the pesto/parmasan, but this time on the “das Fleich” version I put a thin layer of pesto on the bread first. Let me know if you try any of these and what you think
By the way, I just picked up my first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) basket of goodies…….more to come on what we do with this freshly picked (like this afternoon) produce.
Happy Grilled Cheese Month!