April is Grilled Cheese Sandwich month. It’s an all-time favorite comfort food for kids and adults alike. It has grown considerably from plain ole white bread, butter, and cheese. You can create your own versions of the classic grilled cheese sandwich by switching things up, and giving it more flavor and texture.
12 delicious ways to get creative with your grilled cheese sandwich:
1. Switch out your boring bread and try something different such as pumpernickel, rye, French bread, sourdough, or any of the whole grain breads. Make sure it’s not too thick or hole-y. Note: You can use bread like ciabatta (quite hole-y) if you choose, but you’ll have to add some thing to it so the cheese doesn’t ooze all over the pan.
2. Play around with different cheeses. Try Swiss, Gouda, brie, mozzarella, pepper jack, Havarti, sharp cheddar, etc. for a scrumptiously cheesy difference. Stay away from non cheese! (a.k.a. “processed cheese”)
3. Add different condiments to your grilled cheese sandwich. Give your cheesy goodness some extra oomph. Try spreading jam on one slice of bread. It will add an extra layer of flavor to the cheese. Some suggestions: grape jelly, strawberry, apricot, tomato jam, red pepper jelly, honey mustard, chipotle mayonnaise, cranberry relish, pesto, buffalo wing sauce, and so forth. A little cream cheese never hurt anyone either!
4. Take an ordinary grilled cheese sandwich and add protein to it. Sky is the limit here: sausage, pepperoni, lunch-meat, thinly sliced steak, chicken, tuna, corned beef, etc. The list goes on and on…
5. What’s a sandwich without veggies? Avocado slices, tomatoes, caramelized onions, spinach, arugula, mushrooms, zucchini, and peppers work well.
6. Fruit can also work well with a grilled cheese–such as thin slices of apples, pears, strawberries, peaches, or kiwi. Even dried cranberries, raisins, and currants are great options.
7. Add fresh herbs such as basil leaves, chopped tarragon, chopped rosemary, parsley, garlic, and so forth.
8. Pickles of all kinds in a grilled cheese sandwich give it something extra; or you can leave it on the side. It still brings a nice kick to the table.
9. Crushed potato chips, on a grilled cheese sandwich? Sounds yummy, eh? Don’t limit yourself to plain old potato chips though! Try a variety of salty goodies: corn chips, pop chips, flavored varieties, etc.
10. Slices of crispy bacon with melted cheese between two slices of toasted bread. Yeah, I know that’s cheating, but bacon really does make everything better! You can add some maple flavored bacon with a mozzarella cheese for a nice sweet and savory option.
11. Don’t limit yourself to pan fried. Try a panini press, George Foreman grill, baking, and even deep frying. The deep frying option intrigues me! SO many options. You can dredge the sandwich in eggs, seasoned flour, and fry it up for your own version of a Monte Cristo… YUM!
12. Try serving it opened face with bulkier toppings that you would not be able to use for a traditional sandwich. Top with sliced tomato and onion. Yum. (see pic below)
Here’s an idea–no charge: create a mozzarella grilled cheese on sourdough bread. Open it up on the plate (both sides should have gooey melted goodness — or– try broiling each slice until cheese is melted and golden), top with slices of grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, and drizzle with Caesar dressing. Bam! You have an opened faced Chicken Caesar Salad Grilled Cheese! YUM! (Let me know what you think after you try this one!)
There are SO many ways that you can spruce up grilled cheese. Experiment with different cheeses, condiments, veggies, and toppings. You can even pair it up with different soups besides the traditional tomato. I am sure you will find a new favorite in no time!
How about you? Do you have any ideas to perk up your tired old grilled cheese sandwiches??
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