Grilled cheese sandwich, the warm weather favorite
Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 17, 2008
AP Food Editor
Warm weather makes it a good time to put the “grill” back into grilled cheese.
A hot sandwich fresh off the grill &8212; crispy and lightly browned outside, warm and gooey inside &8212; is a great no-fuss, quick-fix meal for a summer worknight. It’s also endlessly variable, making it easy to cater to everyone.
While any bread works well, flatbread is especially nice. It toasts well and is thin enough that the heat quickly penetrates to the sandwich fillings. Naan, pita pockets and flour tortillas are all great candidates.
As for the fillings, let your imagination go. But as a general rule, try to keep ingredients thin. Thick ingredients, such as chunks of chicken, thick slabs of cheese or large vegetables won’t have time to heat before the bread burns.
For the kids, a toasted peanut butter and jelly is surprisingly good. And be sure to experiment with unusual combinations of cheeses and deli-sliced meats.
This recipe calls for slices of prosciutto and provolone cheese, both available at the deli counter or pre-sliced in packages. Sliced ham, roast beef or turkey breast are nice, too. As for cheese, consider finely crumbled feta.
If you want to use vegetables heftier than the greens used in this recipe, grill or saute them until tender first, then assemble the sandwich and proceed with the grilling.
REALLY GRILLED CHEESE
Start to finish: 15 minutes
41 teaspoon chopped hot or sweet pickled peppers
41 tablespoon Dijon mustard
42 large flatbreads (such as flour tortillas, a pita pocket split in two, naan, etc.)
42 to 3 large chard leaves (or other greens, such as kale or spinach)
43 slices prosciutto or deli-sliced ham
43 to 4 slices provolone cheese
4Olive oil cooking spray
Preheat a grill or grill pan on high.
In a small bowl, combine the peppers and mustard. Use a fork to mash them into a paste. Spread the mixture over one side of one piece of flatbread.
Arrange the chard over the mustard, then top with the prosciutto and cheese. Top with the remaining flatbread.
Spritz the top of the sandwich with cooking spray, then place it (oiled side down) on the grill or grill pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until grill marks form on the bottom.
Reduce the heat on one side of the grill to the lowest setting. If using a grill pan, reduce the burner heat to low.
Spritz the top of the sandwich with cooking spray, then use a spatula to carefully flip the sandwich. If using a grill, move the sandwich to the cooler side. Close the grill and cook until the cheese is melted, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Cut the sandwich into quarters to serve.
Nutrition information per serving: 391 calories; 152 calories from fat; 17 g fat (9 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 40 mg cholesterol; 39 g carbohydrate; 22 g protein; 4 g fiber; 1,342 mg sodium.