Let's get Cheesy

You may have heard that April is National Grilled Cheese month. If you were "out of the loop", don't fret, it's not too late to pay tribute to that childhood classic. Why not host a tasting party {as if we need another reason to throw a party} and feature some of the gourmet combinations that have revitalized this comfort food. Perhaps a wine pairing is in order?? Mmmm :)  

Goat Cheese and Strawberry Grilled Cheese


Spread 1 (4-oz.) goat cheese log, softened, on 1 side of 3 whole grain bread slices. Spread 4 1/2 tsp. red pepper jelly on 1 side of 3 whole grain bread slices; layer with 3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries, 6 large basil leaves, and 1 1/2 cups fresh watercress or arugula. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Top with remaining bread, goat cheese sides down. Cook sandwiches in a large, lightly greased nonstick skillet over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.


Smoked Salmon and Gruyere Grilled Cheese


Lay out 4 slices of French bread. On top of them layer slices of smoked salmon (4 ounces total), Gruyere cheese (4 ounces sliced or shredded) and chives (1 tablespoon). Use a fork to lift the lemon slices out of the pan and add one large lemon slice to each sandwich. Butter the top slices of bread and let cook on medium heat until both the top and bottom are well toasted. If the cheese isn't melting, turn the heat to low, cover the pan and let cook for a few minutes more.


Sauteed Jalapeno and Aged Jack Grilled Cheese


Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. When it’s heated, add oil and 2 jalapeños, seeded & thinly sliced lengthwise. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper; sauté peppers until tender, about 5 minutes. Set jalapeños aside and let cool slightly. Combine 1.5 ounces of grated aged Monterey Jack cheese and jalapeños in a small bowl. Spread butter on 1 side of each slice of bread. Return the pan to medium-low heat. Once the pan is warm, add 1 slice of bread (buttered side down), top with cheese mixture, then close sandwich with second bread slice (buttered side up). Cook until bread is toasted and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes per side.


BLT Grilled Cheese


Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 cup onion and garlic; cook for 10 minutes or until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat sharp white cheddar cheese over each of 4 bread slices. Top each slice with 1/2 cup spinach, 2 tomato slices, 2 tablespoons onion mixture, and 1 1/2 bacon slices. Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons cheese; top with the remaining 4 bread slices. Heat skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Place sandwiches in pan, and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cheese melts.


Well even if you dont feel so ambitious to have a tasting party, one of these recipes is sure to spice up your weekend! Happy cooking!!



*Photos from respective sites