Variations on a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Who knows how many grilled cheese sandwiches I have consumed in my lifetime. I'm at the point where they just don't excite me much any more. Over the years I have done various things to try liven them up a bit, such as working in a little parmesan or other seasonings when buttering the bread.

Lately I have been regularly perusing our cookbook American Sandwich for new ideas. I noticed the sandwich for Vermont, the "Cheese Dream," which sounded unusual yet intriguing. Essentially it is grilled cheese combined with french toast, and it is actually pretty good.

Cheese Dream Sandwich

• 2 slices quality sandwich bread
• 1 egg
• 1 tbsp milk
• Sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
• 1/2 tbsp butter
• Maple syrup (if you are adventurous)

Lay out slice of bread and cover with cheese; top with remaining slice. Lightly press sandwich together. Whisk the eggs and milk together until frothy and place mixture in a shallow dish.

In a frying pan or griddle, melt butter over medium heat. Dip each sandwich in the egg batter, letting excess drip off, and place it in the frying pan. Fry sandwiches over medium heat until golden brown on each side. Slice sandwiches in half, and serve with maple syrup for dipping (I haven't gotten up the courage to try it with syrup yet).

One disclaimer—the original recipe calls for Grafton cheddar cheese and Vermont maple syrup. Alas, I do not have either of those things. I imagine those local specialty flavors would take the sandwich to another level.

Then just today I was surveying the various ingredients we had in our fridge trying to decide what to have for lunch. When Kristen asked what I was going to have, I declared with some uncertainty "a grilled pizza sandwich." Confused, she asked what that was, but I informed her I was still concocting it in my mind. Here's what I ended up making.

Grilled Pizza Sandwich

• 2 slices quality sandwich bread
• Garlic butter
• Mozzarella cheese, sliced
• Tomato sauce
• Pepperoni

Spread garlic butter over one side of each bread slice and flip over (we have a really good garlic butter recipe, perhaps I'll have to post that another time). Add a thin layer of cheese, a modest scoop of tomato sauce, pepperoni, then another layer of cheese, and top with the remaining slice of bread.

Heat a frying pan or griddle over medium heat. Grill each side until golden brown and the cheese is melted. Slice in half to serve.

I was surprised at how good this little improvisation turned out. I will definitely be making it for myself again (assuming we have the same assortment of ingredients in the fridge). And I'm willing to bet Eddie is going to love this sandwich as well.


Cheryl said...

With the exception of garlic butter I have those other things in the fridge, maybe I should whip one up for lunch tomorrow. Maybe you should post that garlic butter recipe as well.

Dave said...

I made the grilled pizza sandwich for Eddie tonight and he seemed to thoroughly enjoy it.