Monday, February 25, 2013

Herbivoracious-Inspired Grilled Cheese

So, everyone seems to be talking about Herbivoracious by Michael Natkin, right? Okay, maybe it's just the people I hang out with, but I've heard a lot of buzz about the book. Must-have and all that stuff.

Well, okay, I like vegetables.

So here's me paging through the book, looking at all the beautiful recipes, and I get stuck on grilled cheese of all things. And it's not so much the recipe as it is a new technique that's got me all boggled.

We all know that the best part of a grilled cheese sandwich is the warm, melty cheese, right?

Hah! That's what you might say if you've eaten a grilled cheese sandwich but you've never cooked one. Because cooks know that the best part is the crusty browned bits of cheese that ooze out of the sandwich and get all crisp in the pan.

Those browned bits NEVER make it to the serving plate because the cooks snag 'em and eat 'em. Because they're sort of odd almost-burned pieces, and who wants that, anyway, right? Yeah, right. Cooks steal 'em because they're the best part.

So Michael Natkin decided to expand upon that browned-bit idea in a very ingenious way. His recipe calls for specific cheeses, which I'm sure are marvelous. But I didn't have them on hand, and I absolutely had to try this. With the cheese I happened to have.

And YOU can try it with any grilled-cheese worthy cheese you happen to have on hand. I like colby cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches, but I've been known to stray. Use anything you like. Add stuff to the interior, like I did with my scrambled ham and egg grilled cheese, if you like. Or make it plain.

But you have to try this. It's brilliant.

Herbivoracious-Inspired Grilled cheese

Butter, for cooking - about a tablespoon
Two slices bread
Pile of grated good-melting cheese (enough to generously cover one slice of bread, plus a little more

Melt the butter in a nonstick pan on medium heat and place the slices of bread in the pan. Pile the cheese one one slice, reserving a small handful. Let's say 1/4 cup(ish). Flip the uncheesed slice of bread onto the cheesed side and press down.

Cook on medium heat, flipping the sandwich as needed, until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.

 Now comes the genius part. Pile the reserved cheese next to the sandwich in a shape similar to that of your sandwich. Let it melt. When the edges begin to brown just a tiny bit, flip the sandwich over onto the cheese. The cheese will adhere to the sandwich. Oh yeah, now we're talking.

Continue cooking until the cheese is nicely browned and crisp.

Serve hot.

Devour.

Repeat as necessary.
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