Grilled Cheese

So there’s been a lot of talk going around on the inter-webs these days regarding grilled cheese sandwiches. What kind of artisinal bread, what non-gmo organic cheese, which panini press you should get…

blah blah blah

Here’s the deal: Grilled cheese sandwiches are an easy, satisfying lunch that ANYONE can do with any bread and any cheese. It is about technique. There will be no recipe. I’m here to walk you through it with some straight talk and some downright lousy photography.

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Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato

Today brought us our first slicing tomatoes of the season – an exciting event in the CSA summer calendar. All the debutantes come out in their finest frippery and go to the cotillion…

No… wait… that’s not right (and it was either this or a Michael Jackson PYT/BLT joke that was in there somewhere… consider yourselves lucky). At any rate, summer tomatoes are a heavenly departure from the softballs that decorate the off-season supermarket shelves. Yes, the season is different south of the border, but they can’t ship ripe since they’d bruise and rot in transit. Generally they are exposed to ethylene to speed reddening and then shipped before they are actually ripe, which leads to bland, uninteresting tomatoes. A shame, but considering how much of a staple they can be in the American salad and sandwich repertoire, you do what you can. But the summer brings wonderful things and it becomes a whole, new ballgame.

So when our CSA released the first of the season, I had to think of a way to celebrate our bounty. Sure, a caprese salad, with fresh mozzarella and basil is a fantastic thing, but for those of you who know my wife and her addiction to cured pork, you know there was only one way to go.

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Bacony Burger

I was considering making basic hamburgers on the grill earlier in the week, but it didn’t really work out with everyone’s schedule. And when the weather turned sour I decided that it would be indoor cooking for me. Now there is nothing wrong with a stovetop burger, but why settle when you have bacon? The problem with your traditional bacon burger is keeping the bacon on the burger while you eat it. Then there’s the cheese… the whole thing becomes a greasy mess. I figured it would be fun to do something a little different.

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Reuben, Extra Stinky*

*the title comes with thanks to FH. Thanks, FH.

I suppose this can be considered advanced grilled-cheesery (which will be covered in a later post). A reuben sandwich, in its traditional form, can be a wonderful thing, but I feel that the better version uses pastrami instead of corned beef. Not that there is anything wrong with corned beef, but I personally think of pastrami as a more, finished form… corned beef 2.0, so to speak. In any case, to define the sandwich in its classic form, a reuben is corned beef, Russian dressing, sauerkraut and swiss cheese, grilled on rye bread. The version pictured above is on whole wheat, but it is still a tasty lunch.

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