Is anyone even half as ready for autumn and winter as I am? Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of things about summer – baseball, fresh produce, songbirds at my bird feeders that aren’t there in cold weather, grilling out, and so on. Summer’s awesome in every way… but, having said that, autumn and winter are super special.
As a foodie, the cooler months make me think of soup, stew, chili, casseroles, chai tea lattes, and (of course) Halloween goodies, Thanksgiving dishes, and Christmas baking… how could a foodie NOT love this time of year???
I may be one of the biggest soup fanatics in the world, which is one of the reasons I’m excited about a new cookbook I was sent to review: 150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.
Naturally, grilled cheese sandwiches are perfect all year. We certainly eat them year-round in our house. In fact, we’ve been known to enjoy grilled cheese sandwiches at all times of the day and night. Talk about a delicious comfort food. Cheesy deliciousness that comes together pretty darn fast – sign me up.
150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches is a perfect guide to getting extra creative with this wonderful comfort food. Although the modern version of the grilled cheese sandwich dates back to 1920 (when it became popular during the great depression, for obvious reasons), these delicious and inexpensive delicacies are currently a popular trend in cooking. I think one of the reasons is the fact that they aren’t expensive to pull together. I think the popularity of food trucks has also helped revive this wonderful sandwich.
Some people are even calling the grilled cheese sandwich the “new burger.” The fact that so many people are eating less meat is another reason these sandwiches are so wildly popular.
From the Back Cover: A grilled cheese sandwich is classic comfort food and it’s enjoying an incredible resurgence in popularity. These fabulous recipes all begin with the grilled cheese we all know and love, and then from there, creative twists showcase just how incredibly versatile this sandwich can be. The recipes reflect an almost endless and delicious variety of choices that include simple and timeless as well as gourmet and artisanal. From breakfast to dessert, there’s something for everyone in this book.
Another reason grilled cheese sandwiches are so popular is, let’s face it, they’re fast and easy to make. You can have a warm, delicious, and comforting meal in a matter of minutes. This is one of the reasons they’re so popular with bachelors, college students, and beginner cooks.
Whether you enjoy your grilled cheese sandwiches with soup (one of my favorite meals), chips, or alone, nothing beats a great grilled cheese sandwich.
As I’ve probably mentioned on the food blog, when I had to totally give up wheat and gluten a number of years ago (health reasons), it threw my cooking persona into a tailspin. Imagine everything you are accustomed to cooking and baking for your family and yourself thrown out the door. Then finding yourself having to start over, pretty much, and discover a whole new way of both cooking and eating.
Stressful… and yet kind of mentally stimulating!
It’s a hideous predicament for anyone but for an avid cook and food blogger who was extra keen on homemade breads, cornbread, cakes from scratch, pies, etc.. it knocked me on my backside for a bit. However, I (honestly) found out that many aspects of gluten-free food are actually as good as their gluten-y counterparts and some are even better in many ways.
For example, for whatever reasons, gluten-free fried catfish is actually better. Don’t ask me why (please), but the combo of rice flour and yellow cornmeal makes the best fried catfish in the world. Trust me, this is a personal favorite and something I’ve been cooking since I was allowed to touch the stove.
Grilled cheese sandwiches have been another pleasant surprise (along with French Toast, for that matter). Gluten-Free bread, in my opinion, makes them even better. I think it’s because they’re denser and, sometimes, thicker, than regular bread. Then again, Texas Toast is a great way to go with grilled cheese sandwiches.
150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches includes so many creative, fun, and delicious recipes you won’t stop until you’ve made them all. The cheese combinations, along with the additions of complimentary ingredients will boggle your mind. I cook every single day (and have for years) and consider myself to be really creative in the kitchen, but even I found myself saying, “Ooooh, I would’ve never thought of that...” One of the combinations that was wildly new to me was the one given in the recipe below. I wouldn’t have ever invited Muenster Cheese to a grilled cheese party, but this recipe has me slapping myself for the oversight.
The recipe below is from the cookbook and is outstanding. I love it alongside tomato soup or chili and have been known to have it simply with a large dill pickle and Funyons.
I know how to live, after all.
Classic Grilled Two Cheese
Author: Alison Lewis
8 slices white or whole-grain bread (1/2 inch/1 cm thick slices)
2 TBS butter or margarine, softened
4 oz Muenster cheese, thinly sliced
4 oz Cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
- Brush one side of each bread slice with butter.
- Place on a work surface, buttered side down.
- Top 4 bread slices equally with Muenster and Cheddar cheeses.
- Cover with remaining bread slices, buttered side up, and press gently.
- Place sandwiches on preheated panini grill or in a large skillet over medium heat and cook, turning once if using a skillet, for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted.
- Serve immediately.
When it comes to grilled cheese sandwiches, you have to really be careful with cheese combinations. Make the wrong move and the result will be thisclose to gross. You also have to be careful with what fillings you add and how you treat the bread. Again, the wrong move can leave your taste buds borderline depressed. In this wonderful and fun cookbook, Alison Lewis has done all of the hard work for us and taken all of the guess work out of our hands. We’re left with a ton of delicious recipes and combinations that’ll make us the Queen or King of Grilled Cheese. Whether you use a Panini or Sandwich Press or a favorite skillet, you WILL use these recipes again and again and again.
Below are just some of the recipes included in 150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches:
- Roast Beef with Asiago and Watercress
- Grilled Steak and Blue Cheese
- Italian Tomato-Basil Bread
- Hot Bacon Swiss Crostini
- Havarti and Cucumber Sandwich
- Grilled Spinach, Pepper Jack, and Bacon
- Warm Peanut Butter Power Wrap
- Italian Salami Panini
- Sweet Pepper Relish
- The Pilgrim
- And many, many, many more.
See 150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches for more information and to order your copy today… just in time for soup season!