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New Meal Monday: Fancy Grilled Cheese

January 15, 2018

Since our daughter started eating solid foods, it's an ongoing struggle to find things she'll eat consistently.  Some weeks she loves certain things, other weeks she won't touch the same things.  One food that has become a staple, however, has been the Grilled Cheese. Super simple, cheddar between 2 slices of bread griddled in some butter. It's always a hit, and it feels like universally all kids love a Grilled Cheese. For almost a year now, I've been making at least 3 Grilled Cheeses every week, and as we started stealing bites and eating the crusts we cut off, my wife and I have been talking about making our own, more grown-up version of the Grilled Cheese.
We started brainstorming a variety of different ideas and even had some debates about exactly where the line is between a Grilled Cheese and a Panini. These are the questions that keep us up at night.  After much discussion, we realized we had come two a common point of contention in our household: Bacon, or No Bacon.  It became clear there was only one solution. We would each make our own Fancy Grilled Cheese.  So, this week's New Meal Monday features 2 recipes for the price of one!  The first one is bacon and brie with a maple drizzle. The second features cheddar and balsamic roasted veggies.  For both we'd recommend a good hearty artisan bread. We like Red Hen Baking Co's Waitsfield Common.  Once assembled they're both cooked in a skillet the same way. Pick one (or both!) and enjoy!

Here's what you need for two Bacon & Brie Grilled Cheeses:

  •  4 slices of bread (slice about 1/2" thick)
  • ½-1 Tbsp butter
  • 3-4 slices cooked bacon
  • 1 small wheel of brie
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup

How you do it:

  1. Cut rind off of brie and slice brie into 1/4" slices (more or less depending on desired cheesiness).
  2. Cover 2 slices of bread with sliced brie
  3. Crumble bacon over top of brie, spreading evenly.
  4. Drizzle 1/2 the syrup across each sandwich (about 1/4 tsp each) and top each sandwich with remaining slice of bread. 
  5. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Once butter is hot, place sandwiches in skillet, cover with a lid. Cook until bottom is golden brown, then flip (you may want to add a little more butter before the flip, or at least use a soft spatula to spread remaining butter around). Cook until both sides are golden brown and cheese is fully melted.

 

Here’s what you need for two Balsamic Roasted Veggie Grilled Cheeses:

  • ½ of a red pepper
  • ½ of a yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Handful of spinach
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices of bread (slice about 1/2" thick)
  • ½-1 Tbsp butter

How you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Slice pepper and onion into thin strips. Toss with olive oil and balsamic vinegar until coated. Arrange in single layer on baking dish and top with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, tossing veggies half way through. As veggies are finishing, sauté spinach with a bit of olive oil and set aside.
  3. Assemble sandwich. Top slice of bread with shredded cheese, then add veggies & spinach and top with additional shredded cheese. Place other slice of bread on top. Repeat for 2nd sandwich.
  4. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Once butter is hot, place sandwiches in skillet, cover with a lid. Cook until bottom is golden brown, then flip (you may want to add a little more butter before the flip, or at least use a soft spatula to spread remaining butter around). Cook until both sides are golden brown and cheese is fully melted.
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