On Sunday, it snowed. Again.
On Sunday, my plans got cancelled. Again.
On Sunday, I wanted to throw knives. Again.
But, instead of throwing knives, I decided to throw something a little less deadly: A grilled cheese party.
It was a good decision, requiring only a few good friends (who conveniently live within walking distance), plus all the bread, cheese, meat, and fixins I could scrounge up.
The pickeled and smoked jalapenos from last summer’s garden? Perfect. The leftover mozzarella from last week’s pizza disaster? You bet. The fig jam I picked up on an outing to Cleveland’s Westside Market two months ago and have been wondering how to use? Even better.
In the end, we cooked four different types of grilled cheese (ingredient combinations below), gobbling them up as they came off the grill. I think maybe one person used a plate. Maybe.
It really was the perfect snow day party: affordable, easy, and creative. Exactly what we all needed to lift our “It’s March, But It’s Still Snowing, Dammit” blues.
There also was cheese, lots and lots of cheese. And you know what G.K. Chesterton had to say about that: The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject.
Grilled Cheese: Four Ways
#1. 2 slices rye bread, 2 slices Gruyere, 1/2 of a carmelized sliced onion
#2. 2 slices sourdough bread, 1 slice horseradish cheddar, thick-sliced bacon, smoked and pickled jalapeno peppers, and roasted tomato aioli (.5 cup mayo, .25 cup roasted tomatoes, 2 cloves garlic, 1 T. olive oil, pinch of cayenne—all pureed in a food processor).
#3. 2 slices honey wheat bread, 2 slices brie cheese, 1 tablespoon fig preserves, and 2 slices prosciutto.
#4. 2 slices sourdough, 2 slices fresh mozzarella, thick sliced bacon, avocado, tomato, and a sprinkling of kosher salt.
1. I’m a convert to buttering the skillet and using a little bit of both butter and mayonnaise on the outside of the bread. It browns so much more nicely. And yes, this is perhaps not the world’s healthiest combo. But, this is a grilled cheese party, not a salad party. Lean into it.
2. Don’t get too hung up on replicating any one recipe. I certainly didn’t! Just play. Except for the Brie, Fig Jam, and Prosciutto magic. You really need to replicate that. Really.