Tuesday was National Grilled Cheese Day, but in my house...they've always been referred to as Toasted Cheese (which is what the Brit's call the sandwich).
Melting cheese on bread is a culinary concept that has been around since the time of Romans, but grilled cheese as we know them didn't become popular until the 1920's.
Here are two amazing non-traditional toasted cheese sandwiches to try next time you get hungry for this classic!
Toasted Brie and Apple Sandwich - Adapted from Weight Watchers
1/2 medium sweet onion
1/4 cup apple cider/juice
4 slices sourdough bread
1 small Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
4 oz. brie cheese, sliced into 4 pieces
Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Place pan over medium-high heat and add onions. Saute until soft and golden brown, adding cider to prevent onions from burning.
Lay 2 slices of bread on a cutting board and divide apple slices, cheese and onions among them. Cover with second piece of bread.
Spray skillet again and set over medium heat. Grill sandwiches until cheese melts and bread browns.
Cut into halves and serve hot.
Parmesan Crusted Pesto and Tomato Toasted Cheese Sandwich
4 slices ciabatta or French bread
2 tablespoons soft butter
2 tablespoons basil pesto
4 slices mozzarella cheese
4 slices fresh tomato
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat.
Butter the outside of two slices of bread and place in pan. Spread pesto on the inside of each slice of bread in the pan. Place mozzarella cheese slices on top of on piece of the bread. Add tomato then top with the other slice of bread. Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese on the outside of only one side of the sandwich.
Grill each for 2 minutes or until crusted and golden brown. Flip the sandwich, and cook the other side for about 2 more minutes.
Cut into halves and serve hot, Parmesan cheese side up.
* Some of life’s simple things are the greatest pleasures. The same can be said for a toasted cheese sandwich you make at home. What can top it is the Kappacasein Toasted Cheese Sandwich which is located within the confines of my spiritual home, London’s Borough Market.