I love how a sandwich can resonate with so many generations and bring back such fond memories. A grilled cheese is one such sandwich. I remember as a kid visiting my grandparents and being served a grilled cheese with a bowl of soup for lunch. As a young adult recently married, many years ago, I often wanted the comfort of this sandwich when I was ill and far away from family. It just reminded me of home.
I was excited when Kitchen PLAY invited me to participate in 30 Days of Grilled Cheese and that Land O'Lakes Deli Cheese would be our cheese of choice. Why my excitement? Two reasons: creamy and delicious. This cheese melts to a creamy texture in your favorite grilled cheese sandwich and the flavor is, well, delicious. I also like that you can buy it freshly sliced from your deli. This gives you the choice of buying just the right amount and you can even mix the flavors. Land O’Lakes has yellow and white Deli American Cheese and a wonderful 4 Cheese Italian Blend. They are both creamy and delicious for grilled cheese sandwiches!
So what makes the perfect grilled cheese sandwich? I bet we would each have our own list of the combination of flavors we would enjoy the most. I am going to share mine with you today. I love the combination of flavors that you get when a cheese tray is ordered: fruit, cheese and meat. I wanted to combine these flavors into a sandwich.
I enjoy a sandwich that has a bit of sweet combined with a hint of tart; crunch with a smooth texture; warm and cold tones. I look forward to every bite being filled with flavor, textures and maybe even a bit of a surprise. I like to use bread that has a rustic look to it, like French or sourdough. The holes in the bread allow steam to rise through it and melt your cheese. I also like to use smaller loaves so that as your grilled cheese sandwich builds to a certain height it is easier to hold in your hands. If it gets too big then things start falling out and slipping all over the place—that just will not do, in my opinion.
Recipe: Sweet and Savory Grilled Cheese
¼ cup of sliced red onions
1 teaspoon of butter
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, any flavor
2 slices of your favorite rustic bread
4 slices of Black Forest ham
2-3 slices of Land O Lakes Deli American Cheese
4 strawberries, sliced
Honey or Dijon mustard
¼ cup Arugula greens
Butter, to grill bread
· In a medium saucepan, melt butter and add onions. Let brown for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add balsamic vinegar and let cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
· When the cheese has melted, on one side, add the Dijon mustard and ham. Then add the slice strawberries, Arugula, and grilled red onions. Top with the last piece of toasted bread.
· Gently press down on the top piece of bread to allow the ingredients to hold together. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
If you need a gluten free bread recipe, I have one that would work great for this sandwich. The recipe can be found HERE.
Written by Sherron Watson