I looooove Pesto! My wife made some fresh and I had to use it for my Grilled Cheese Odyssey. It's pretty simple: Shredded Mozzarella, Pesto, and inappropriately buttered bread. Get it really crispy and enjoy. The Ligurians would be proud.
We are just over the half-way point for this National Grilled Cheese Month Endurance Test. If you have any suggestions please enter them in the comment section below. I'm thinking May should be National Fiber Month.
Named after the character from one of the greatest television shows ever, "Hogan's Heroes". Corporal LeBeau was a fierce French Patriot and supposedly the first prisoner in Stalag 13. He was also the Chef for the randy band of Allied POW's and was always making amazing food with whatever he could find around the Camp. He would often bribe Sergeant Schultz with goodies and made friends with the Camp Guard Dogs with treats, allowing him to use the tunnel under the dog house. The actor who played Lebeau, Robert Clary, was a French-Born Jew who was deported to a Nazi Concentration Camp with his 13 Brothers and Sisters and the rest of his family in 1942. 12 of his family members died during their imprisonment until they were liberated in 1945.
This one is pretty simple: Get yourself a Baguette, Brie, and a Pear. Slice the cheese and fruit thin and place on the heavily buttered bread with a drop of Dijon Mustard. I grilled mine, so I cut the bread a little thick. Brie is a soft cheese and melts quickly so keep an eye on it. If you do it right, you'll be able to bribe the Guard on duty so you can sneak out of the Camp and blow up the Nazi Ammunition Depot....F**K those guys. Nazis suck.
It was Easter Sunday and the family had left trail of Peanut Butter Eggs, and headless Chocolate Bunnies all the way back to Gardner. I was racking my brain trying to think of an Easter themed Grilled Cheese. I considered using Peeps, incorporating the delicious but deadly Cadbury Egg, somehow using Jelly Beans without having them melt. I even thought about going out in search of Rabbit meat. But it was Easter Sunday and I had already had a few beers to celebrate the Zombie Holiday. Then I thought, "What would someone want to eat after being dead for three days in a cave? Specifically what kind of Grilled Cheese Sandwich would Jesus want?" I'm guessing by the geography of the whole event he may go for some Hummus, maybe some olives and Bread Of Affliction. I know I would be turning anything into wine right away. Then I thought, "That's stupid, he's the "Son Of God" he doesn't need to eat anything!" So I thought about what I would want after rising from the dead. I immediately thought of Beef and Beer.
I found this amazing Beer and Brown Grainy Mustard Cheese at Trader Joe's. I added that to some rare roast beef with some thinly sliced Purple Onion on Pumpernickel Bread. While this is not visually exciting, it was heavenly. It had a kind of Bavarian feel to it. This cheese is perfect with the Pumpernickel. I imagine it would resurrect my taste buds after being dormant for three days. The Roast Beef would also give my system some much needed protein to get me going to spread the message of the miracle of Grilled Cheese.
So after almost a week of jamming cheese and processed meat into my digestive system I decided to go light for Day 6. I needed to work in a little fiber to keep things moving along. So I started with Swiss, Avocado, raw red pepper, on wheat bread. It doesn't get any more healthier than that, right?
I turned around to butter my other piece of bread and all of a sudden I was overcome by the bewitching aroma of the greatest gift a pig could give: Bacon! I turned back around and there was Bacon on my healthy, colon clearing, vegetarian sandwich! At first I was alarmed, then I realized I had been blessed by the Bacon Fairy on this Good Friday. I remember from my extensive Bible study that before the Heavenly Father brought his son home he sent The Bacon Fairy as a final temptation to Jesus. When the Lord rebuffed the offering God knew it was time. Since then the Bacon Fairy has been on a mission to bless those in their time of need with her cured gift.*
So I didn't protest. It was obviously meant to be. Who was I to argue with Divine Bacon Intervention(DBI)? So I placed another slice of Swiss over it and grilled away. Bacon and Avocado are a natural combo but the red pepper added a tart sweetness that broke it up. Went great with my Sam Adams Summer Ale too.
Thanks for the suggestions and all the intrepid gamblers wagering on me to make all 30 days of this challenge. Please leave your ideas and comments in the section below.
*Loose translation from The Bacon Bible(1st edition) of which only two copies exist. One resides in The Library Of Congress' Maximum Security Section in Washington D.C. The other is supposedly kept by The Knights Of The Supreme Order Of The Majestic Pig and is moved every two weeks to avoid it's capture by Agents of PETA.
I was going to go with something lighter after surviving the "Fat Guy From Rye" but when got home last night The Wife was making pizza so I went with the materials I had at the ready. "The Grilled Cheezza" is pretty much a Calzone but the ingredients aren't fully enclosed in dough. Much like the Grilled Cheese, Pizza is can be twisted and mutated into various forms for personal taste.
I rolled out two small pieces of Basil Pizza Dough and spread Olive Oil on each before baking them for 10 minutes at 450 degrees. After pulling them out of the oven I immediately put a thin spread of Pizza Sauce and a handful of Mozzarella. Then, just like a Pizza, I added Pepperoni, Onions, Mushrooms and more Mozzarella. I then used my Grill Pan to melt it down and mark each side. I loved the outer layer crunchiness of the Basil Pizza Dough. You have to let it cool for a little first or the gooey innards will squeeze out the sides. I applied the "Cold Pizza" theory and save half for Breakfast the next day and was very pleased.
Of course I had to use my Starship Enterprise Pizza Cutter to slice it. I'm on a 30 Day Mission to explore strange new Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. "Damn it Jim! I'm a Fat Ass!"
If you have any recipe suggestions for this Odyssey of Colon Clogging leave them in the comments section below. I've been getting some good ones and if I live long enough I will hopefully try them all.
This one almost killed me. I actually thought about hanging it up and eating nothing but lettuce for the rest of the month. Maybe it's because I'm getting older and my Stomach, which has been a Valiant Warrior through many a culinary battle all over the Globe, is finally saying, "ENOUGH!"
This recipe came from a texter who heard me talking about National Grilled Cheese Month on the air. He said it came from a "Fat Guy From Rye, NH" so that's what we shall call it. Looking back, I'm thinking of calling it "The Hindenburg" because that's what I felt like all night afterwards.
The text simply said, "Swiss Cheese, Hot Dogs, and Bacon". Sounds great right? I took three skinless dogs from the Chicopee Provision Co., 3 slices of regular bacon, and 6 slices of Swiss Cheese. I cooked the bacon and dogs first in the same pan. That may have been my downfall. I then layered the ingredients on buttered bread with some Gulden's Brown Mustard to give it a little kick. It was tough putting the GC Press on this due to the bulk of the filling. I probably should have sliced the Dogs in half...I probably shouldn't have eaten the whole thing too.
This behemoth was greasier than a Pharmaceutical Industry Lobbyist. It also probably contained more sodium than the entire country of Chad takes in for a year. My Doctor would probably report me as "suicidal" for eating this. The first bite was amazing! The mustard was a good move because it cut through the greasiness. The more I dug in, the more I started to realize I was causing harm to myself and maybe my family. When I finished I experienced overwhelming regret and knew the next few hours would be the test on whether I would continue my cheesy Odyssey. Approximately 90 minutes later I felt a disturbance in my intestines, another hour later my ass exploded. After a couple of hours of sleep I awoke screaming, drenched in meat sweat that smelled like hot dogs. I felt like Martin Sheen in freaking out in "Apocalypse Now". I was waiting for Brando to walk out and ask me to kill him.
I don't know whether to thank or sue the guy that sent me this recipe. Maybe for Day 5 I'll have something a little lighter. Keep the suggestions coming and go ahead and wager if I'll make it through April. Between this and the Red Sox season starting, my heart may go on strike. "Oh, the Humanity!"
It's Day 3 and my Colon is still operational.(I know. You didn't need to know that.) This one is called "The Castorini", named after the family in the 1987 film "Moonstruck". There's a scene where Rose Castorini is making an "Egg In The Hole" for her daughter Loretta. The Director, Norm Jewison, gets a great shot of the pan as Rose flips the egg filled bread and part of the yolk comes out on the red pepper roasting close by. Brilliant Food Porn.
I used two pieces of white bread.(Didn't have any crusty Italian around) and layered butter on both. Do this before you cut the hole or you'll end up mangling it. I melted some more butter in the pan, placed the "Hole" down and cracked an egg into it. Then placed Provolone, Sweet Capicola, Roasted Red Peppers, more provolone, and the top piece of bread. Make sure the egg is cooked well or it will look like somebody coughed up a lung. After you flip it carefully, don't give it the usual press or the egg will explode. (That's if it hasn't' while you were flipping it, as you see in the picture below.)
This was pretty awesome! The Red Pepper and Capicola gave it some real personality through the rich yolk and melted provolone. Great for Breakfast, Lunch, or 2am after striking out with every girl in the bar. This might be tough if your stoned, especially the flip. You might just end up with a big mess in a bowl. It will probably still hit the spot.
Thanks for the great suggestions so far and keep em' coming. I'm going to start trying those tomorrow...if my Pancreas doesn't collapse.
April is National Grilled Cheese Month and each day I will be trying a different variation on the classic sandwich. It was brought to my attention yesterday by WAAF Facebook Fan Joe Scimemi that yesterday was also Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich Day. Mr. Scimemi expressed his concern and confusion in this post:
"How can it be National Grilled Cheese Month if today you guys said it was National PB & J Day? Come on smarten up! No wonder the terrorists hate us!"
Don't worry Mr. Scimemi, the Terrorist should be pleased to hear that I was able to celebrate both days with my PBJ & Chevre Sandwich. I'm sure there's no law prohibiting observing both days. But I am sure First Lady Michelle Obama would not be pleased with this incredibly fatty snack.
I took regular White Bread and slathered each side with butter. Then added Creamy Style Peanut Butter, Raspberry Preserves, and locally made Chevre Goat Cheese from Sangha Farms. I then used my trusty Wonder Bread Crust Cutter and placed it in a pan with a half stick of melted butter. Browned it on both sides and let it cool for a few minutes. It was pretty damn good. The Goat Cheese wasn't too dominant and mixed well with the Raspberry Preserves.
Again, if you have any suggestions for National Grilled Cheese Month, let me know in the comments section.
Praise the Maker! April is National Grilled Cheese Month!!! Not like I need an excuse to enjoy one of the greatest culinary inventions in the history of food. The Grilled Cheese is one of the great equalizers of society because all you need is bread and cheese. It's pretty hard to mess up a Grilled Cheese sandwich unless you burn it.(But some people enjoy the extra crispy GC) It's the classic Winter Day after sledding Lunch with it's natural companion, Tomato Soup. At times it can be a Stoner's best friend(if he isn't too stoned and forgets about it on the pan, firing off the smoke alarms and sending me..er.."The Stoner" into a paranoid panic...good times.)
It can be made in all environments, all you need is fire and a flat surface like a rock, sheet metal, or you can just hold the sandwich in the flames with a stick like toasting a marshmallow.
In fact, I may just try that during my 30 Day Grilled Cheese Challenge to celebrate this special month. I plan to eat a different variation on the classic each day. We'll see how long my system can take it. If you have any suggestions stick them in the comment section below.
I started yesterday with a version I have named "The Kraken".
Handful of shredded Cheddar.
Covered with Romano and Parmesan.
Leftover Mac & Cheese.
Leftover Calamari from Smokestack Urban BBQ with the hot Cherry Peppers.
Use a liberal spread of Butter and make sure you give it a good press or you'll have squid and macaroni falling all over the place.
And NO, I was not stoned when I came up with this. I was making my daughter a grilled cheese and was inspired seeing the leftovers in my fridge. It was surprisingly easy on my Digestive system. The Texture of the Fried Calamari and The Macaroni with the gooey cheese was fantastic and the hot peppers cut the cheesy richness.