There is a big trend in the food world right now of taking comfort classics and reinventing them for more grown up palates. It is for this reason that I decided to take a crack at grilled cheese.
Grilled cheese is one of the ultimate comfort foods. Two slices of crispy buttery bread oozing cheese that’s quick and effortless. The problem with this sandwich is the cheese itself.
Unless it’s on a burger, I’m not a fan of processed cheese. I’m not crazy about the taste, find the day-glo orange colour repulsive, and I know it’s been so pumped full of chemicals that it no longer resembles real cheese. I also know that this has been done to make the “cheese” more melty.
My version of this classic sandwich draws its inspiration from Italian cuisine. It takes a little more work but it’s tastier and a little better for you.
Here’s How You Do It
Difficulty Level: Easy
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Makes 1 Sandwich
2 Slices of Whole Wheat Bread
4 Slices of Mozzarella – Of all the real cheeses, mozzarella seems to melt the best. You can get slices of the real thing by the gram at the deli counter of grocery stores and at Italian grocers.
2 Tablespoons of Chopped Roasted Vegetables – You can get these at the prepared foods counter of a lot of grocery stores OR make them yourself on a day you have time to kill
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 Slice of Prosciutto (Optional) – It adds a little meaty saltiness to the sandwich but it’s not necessary
2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Frying Pan + Something that can be used as a lid
1 Pastry Brush – They look sorta like paintbrushes and can be found in the dollar store for a buck or three
1 Small Bowl
ASSEMBLE YOUR SANDWICH
Place 2 slices of Mozzarella on one slice of bread and spread the roasted veggies over the top.
Add one slice of Prosciutto on top, if using.
Top with 2 more slices of Mozzarella add the other slice of bread.
Press everything firmly together and brush both sides of the sandwich with Olive Oil.
Put the Parmesan cheese on a plate and press each side of the sandwich into it. The olive oil will act as glue.
GRILL YOUR SANDWICH
Spray your frying pan with cooking spray and put it on the stove on medium heat.
Put your sandwich in the frying pan and press it down with the spatula.
Cover the pan and leave the sandwich for 5 minutes. Real cheese doesn’t melt the same way as the orange stuff so you need to give it a bit more love to soften it.
Take the cover off the pan and using your spatula, lift the sandwich a little. If the bread is brown enough for you, flip it over.
Cook it on the other side until desired level of doneness on the bread.
Put the sandwich on a plate and enjoy!
-Samantha R. Gold
Questions? Comments? Requests?
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