Grilled cheese sandiwches...mmm. Classic American comfort food. They're so easy to make and so versatile that they can be customzied to suit anybody's tastes and preferences. When I think of a really good grilled cheese sandwich, I don't think of processed American cheese and "bunny" bread. I think really high-end sourdough bread(sourdough is by far my favorite) and a really good quality cheese, preferably organic. I also like to jazz my sandwiches up with condiments and veggies to make a much tastier and a more balanced meal out of them. I particularly like to add heat in various forms, so here is my recipe for a Smoky Spinach and Cheddar Grilled Sandwich.
4 slices sourdough bread
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, sliced as evenly as possible
1 tablespoon pureed chipotle in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 tbsp. butter
Spinach saute, recipe follows
3 large handfuls of fresh spinach, finely chopped
1/4 of a red onion, coarsely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. roasted cumin seeds, ground into a powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. black pepper
salt to taste
1.5 tbsp. olive oil
Heat olive oil in a pan. Add onion, and cook on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes, until onion is transluscent on the edges and slightly tender. Add the garlic, and cook for another minute. Then, add the cumin powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper and salt, and stir. Add the spinach, stir thouroughly, and cook for 30-45 seconds until spinach just barely starts to wilt down. Turn off the stove.
To assemble sandwich:
Preheat a griddle pan to medium-high heat. Evenly divide cheddar slices among two slices of bread. Then, mix together chipotle puree and mayonnaise, and spread this mixture evenly on the other two slices of bread.
Then, divide spinach mixture evenly among the two slices of bread with the cheddar cheese.
Place one slice of bread with chipotle mayonnaise on top of each slice with the spinach and cheese. Spread 1/2 tbsp. of butter on the outside of 1 side of each sandwich. Place one sandwich on heated griddle pan, buttered side down, and place a sandwich press on top, if you have one. Let cook for about two minutes on medium-high heat, until cheese is just partially melted and the outside is golden brown.
While cooking, spread 1/2 tbsp. butter on the other side of the sandwich. When the cheese is partially melted, flip the sandwich, cover again with the sandwich press, if using, and cook until the cheese is completly melted and the outside is golden brown. Remove from heat and enjoy hot. No one likes a cold grilled cheese sandwich with the cheese all-hardened-yuck!
This sandwich was deliciously spicy due to the combination of roasted cumin, cayenne and chipotle. You can, of course, adjust the amount of heat according to your preference. The mayonnaise cuts into some of the heat of the chipotle peppers and provides the perfect balance while adding a great depth of flavor. See the inside of my scrumptious sandwich :)
This entry goes to the Event "Cooking with Seeds-Cumin Seeds" hosted by Saraswathi of Sara's Corner: http://simplysara07.blogspot.com/2010/05/cooking-with-seeds-cumin-seeds-event.html.
The event was originally started by Priya of Priya's Easy and Tasty Recipes: http://priyaeasyntastyrecipes.blogspot.com/2010/01/cooking-with-seedsannouncing-new-event.html