Sunday, March 27, 2011

National Grilled Cheese Month!

When I was a little girl, traveling around with my career army family, the one thing that never failed to thrill my taste buds was a grilled cheese sandwich. I've had them everywhere, all over America and Europe, and I don't think I ever met one I didn't like! In honor of March being National Grilled Cheese Month, I pulled out my handy dandy sandwich grill and made a few entries that could possibly qualify for the Grilled Cheese Hall of Fame. Try them out and let me know what you think!

First, I made a Chicken Pesto with Roasted Red Peppers and Provolone. I used some good sourdough bread, slightly stale, that I found on the half price rack at the supermarket. I mixed up a quick pesto sauce with olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, basil and Parmesan (you can search my blog if you want exact proportions, I wrote them up a while ago). I had some a leftover grilled chicken breast in the frig, so I thinly sliced that up. I also had provolone cheese and a jar of roasted red peppers that was already opened. The assembly was easy: A slice of sourdough, a smear of pesto, a slice and a half of provolone, some chicken, a little roasted red pepper and some more provolone (after all, this IS a grilled CHEESE sandwich, no skimping on cheese!). I lightly brushed the grill with olive oil, thinly spread the sandwich with a little room temperature butter, and let it grill baby, GRILL! 

Second, I made a Classic Caprese Grilled Cheese. For this sandwich, I used Italian bread, sliced sort of thinly, a fresh mozzarella cheese (the round kind that is packed in water). I added on the classic caprese ingredients, sliced Roma tomatoes and thinly sliced basil leaves, topped with a little more cheese. Once again, a lightly oiled grill, and a little butter spread on the bread, and onto the grill.

Third, I mixed things up with a Mozarella, Pesto, Red Pepper and Chicken Grilled Cheese. For the third sammie, I used what I had on hand and just layered it up. I used another slice of the sourdough bread, smeared with a little pesto, some sliced grilled chicken and more of the fresh mozzarella. There was a big basil leaf left over, so I added that too, and back to the lightly oiled grill with another schmear of butter. Toasting away, grilled cheese heaven!

Don't be afraid to experiment around and celebrate the end of March Madness with a few new takes on that old favorite, Grilled Cheese! Happy Eating!

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