Fancy Grilled Cheese
Yesterday I spoke to soon. I indicated Spring had sprung, but then I stepped outside and it was another cold and wet day. Let me remind you it is now early April and I have had enough. We had a glimpse of spring, almost summer with temperatures in the upper 70’s to low 80’s and then what happen not even out of the 50’s, overcast, with periods of rain. I can remember days in March when we wore tank tops and one spring break I broke out the sprinkler it was so warm. Not so this year each week for the past few weeks we have had a glimpse of spring and then old man winter shows himself again. Weather like this does not help me motivate to get out of my desk chair and workout, but it does wonders for my dreaming of cheesy goodness. The dog desperately sits by the window dreaming that I will take her for a walk. Sorry but under 60 and wet that is not happening the most you get is a quick jaunt to relieve yourself.
I have always been a weather checker, not sure that is a phrase, but you understand. When it was the weather channel I would wait for local on the 8, now a days I check my phone, ipad, or whatever is handy to see the next ten hours or ten days. When I begin thinking about meals for the week, which I am constantly doing but typically focus on it on one or two times a week for the next 4 days or so. I always need to know the weather. This week again it showed cold and wet though never leaving the 50’s was colder than expected.
I am a big grilled cheese fan and can have it a number of different ways, but remember I said my daughter was adventurous with food. She is, but ironically she was not a fan of grilled cheese until I made it fancy. So now when she asks for grilled cheese she expects it to be on the lines of something like this
Basically a fancy grilled cheese on this particular evening consist of multi grain bread spread nicely with arugula pesto on piece of bread. I love pesto but to lather both slices of bread with this spicy concoction could be a little overpowering. Depending on your cheese taste, Little Miss Mixture prefers Munster to Fontina each sandwich receives a slice atop the pesto and one on the other slice. Before closing the sandwich top one slice of cheese with some Caramelized onions. Close and toss into the cast iron skillet that has butter simmering and cook until perfectly browned and cheese melts.
Flip to ensure both sides are nicely browned, almost burnt if like me you are trying to manage the kids, the dog, and getting the final items for dinner this will happen without trying. Enjoy warm.
The pesto that apparently transforms a regular grilled cheese sandwich into a fancy grilled cheese and a food Little Miss Mixture will eat is simple. I must warn you if you are compelled to measure everything and get anxiety reading about recipes that require a dash, pinch, or to taste, stop reading now. Go find a blog that may be better suited for you. I am not a person who measures. On occasion the first time I make a recipe I measure, or at least some of the ingredients, but as a general rule I do not measure. In fact I am believer that you can bake and not measure perfectly. More about that another day.
So if you want to enjoy a “Fancy Spread“ here is a basic guideline. This recipe was adapted from http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/arugula_pesto/
1 1/2 – 2 cups Arugula
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 Tbsp (small handful) Walnuts
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
Toss all ingredients into a food processor or vitamix and blend until desired consistency. NOTE: If using Vitamix be sure to put the olive oil in first and the arugula on top and slowly increase your variable speed. Taste and season with pepper and salt, if you must – this is a rarity in my recipes. I only use salt in a handful of items such as baking that I feel it is necessary. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. Pesto can also be frozen in small batches for use at a later date. I find the small mason jars are fabulous for putting just under 1/2 cup and thawing whenever you want a fancier sandwich.