April is National Grilled Cheese Month! Sunday Supper and Gallo Family Vineyards are helping us celebrate such an awesome month by providing you with 20....yes, I said TWENTY, recipes for grilled cheese sandwiches. Can you say (in your best soprano falsetto voice) ...heeeaven! When it comes to comfort food, I think grilled cheese sandwiches are right up there with mac and cheese. I have this sneaky suspicion that melted cheese is the main culprit.
- Do you remember your first encounter with a warm, gooey grilled cheese? The first time you bit into that toasty, buttery bread and experience the melty goodness inside? I wonder how many of you are thinking about your lunch break at school and unwrapping a foiled sandwich, with the bread partly slid to the side. Those cafeteria assembly-line messes that somehow became a school lunch favorite, despite the fact that oftentimes part of the sandwich was hard, the cheese wasn't real, and they were barely warm. My point is, it's pretty hard to make a bad grilled cheese. Unless you burn it of course (been there, done that). Even then.....a little darkened bread is all good.
- Grilled cheese is extremely popular across the world, in a variety of cultures and methods (i.e.: quesadilla, croque-monsieur) and has been around in some form or another since ancient times. The American version, which we're all so fond of, became popular in the 1920's, with the invention of processed cheese and its easy accessibility during WWII, and has grown in leaps and bounds in recent years. The mold has been broken, creating a limitless variety. And boy does that make me one happy camper. Have you any idea how fun it is to play with flavor combos all melted together with cheese, in between two slices of toasty bread?
- Aaaaand....pair it with wine? Ooooh yes.....this wine pairing is going beyond the sliced cheese laid elegantly on a charming platter or rustic board. Today we are all about the ooey, gooey, melty, chewy cheese. Grilled cheese gone rogue is where it's at.
- Let me tell you a little about my version. If you've been following me for any amount of time, you will be a bit familiar with my love of Latin foods. I am blessed with the numerous ethnic markets in my area. One of the major pluses of living in Los Angeles. Having many friends who are from a Mexican or South American descent has also contributed greatly to my knowledge and appreciation of their food. Making a grilled cheese with a Latin flair came naturally to me. Longaniza became the focus, along with a number of complementary flavors.
- Longaniza Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Makes 2 to 4 sandwiches, depending on the size of the bread used
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup chipotle sauce
- Olive oil for sauteing
- 1/2 lb. longaniza
- 10 oz. jalapeno quesadilla cheese, shredded
- 10 oz. oaxaca cheese, shredded (this is very similar to mozzarella)
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 4 - 8 slices of sourdough bread
- 1 or 2 limes sliced into wedges