The beloved grilled cheese sandwich is one of America’s favorite comfort foods, conjuring up memories of cozy tomato soup-and-sandwich lunches on a winter’s day. Most likely, lunch was made with the classic combo of white bread and American cheese. Today’s grilled cheese has stepped up its game big time, with gourmet, grilled cheese sandwiches becoming all the rave. Find out how to spice up these lunchtime favorites at home with these 10 tasty tips.
1. Change up Your Bread
Grilled cheese is super on any kind of bread, from classic white to rye, French, sourdough, focaccia or ciabatta. Try a different spin on white or wheat by flattening the bread with a rolling pin first and then rolling up the cheese and bread and grilling for a kid-friendly grill cheese roll. Use tortilla bread for super grilled cheese paninis.
2. Cheesy Bonanza
Change up your cheeses! Make your lunch (or breakfast or dinner) centerpiece sandwich with any cheese you like, or a combination of two or more for a truly sinful experience. Some favorites include cheddar, brie, Gruyere, Swiss and white or yellow American. Blue and feta don’t melt as well, but add lots of flavorful bang for their buck. Muenster has a bit of nuttiness and a lot of texture, while provolone provides stability to the sandwich. Or try some pepper jack to add zippy flavor with color and a variety of spice levels.
3. Veggie Delights
Everything tastes great with cheese, and it’s a super way to get your kids to eat their fruits or veggies. Spinach, tomato, caramelized apples, grilled eggplant or peppers are great additions. Try a luscious filling of beans, salsa and hot peppers for a little Mexican zest, or channel a veggie pizza with the addition of a handful of green peppers, onions, spinach and mushrooms.
4. Mighty Meat
Grilled cheese lends itself to all kinds of meat additions. Tuna, bacon, ham, pulled pork and turkey are excellent accompaniments, especially with a bit of dill or honey mustard sauce.
5. Spice It Up
Although it may not come immediately to mind, the use of spices and seasonings can really help hit your grilled cheese recipe out of the ballpark. Try kimchee, a combination of garlic, ginger and chili pepper to balance out the creaminess of cheese and butter. They range from mild to spicy. Try a little bit of truffle oil, chipotle sauce, bacon-flavored salt, hot sauce, coarse ground mustard, Worcestershire sauce, crushed black pepper or Italian seasonings; the list is only limited by your imagination.
6. Fine Fusions
This classic American sandwich lends itself beautifully various ethnic cuisine tweaks. Add some guacamole or pesto and bacon to your choice of cheeses for a luscious panini, or mix in some lemony black bean hummus and Parmesan cheese to liven things up.
7. Breakfast Treat
This tasty favorite doesn’t have to be confined to lunchtime. It’s a filling and savory way to greet the day. You can even stuff French toast with creamy Gruyere cheese and ham, or any other combination of breakfast meat and cheese. The crispy outside of the French toast and the gooey delight of the Gruyere are a tantalizing combo.
8. Tantalizing Textures
Grilled cheese doesn’t have to be totally soft and gooey. Add a little crunchy texture for an unexpected touch. Try smashed up potato chips or crispy fried onions tucked up in your sweetly melted cheese. French onion soup mix adds a nice combination of spices and texture.
9. Favorite Comfort Food Combo
What could be better than combining two favorite comfort foods? Grilled cheese and mac-and-cheese goes down oh-so-smoothly, a true delight especially if the mac-and-cheese is topped with buttered toasted breadcrumbs. Use your favorite macaroni recipe or just open a box if you don’t feel like making anything from scratch.
10. Dip It
For a new and interesting way to devour your grilled cheese, whip up some dippers. Cut up your sandwich into strips and dip into fun pairings like Southwestern sauce, roasted red pepper dip or pesto aioli.
If you don’t feel like whipping up your own cheesy delight at home, head over to Farmer’s Pick® Buffet at Isle of Capri Casino® Boonville and celebrate Grilled Cheese Month in style. Farmer’s Pick is open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11am-3pm for $11.99*. For dinner, it’s open Sunday through Thursday from 4:30pm-9:00pm for $16.99 and Friday through Saturday from 4:30pm to 10pm for $19.99. Stop in on Tuesdays during Grilled Cheese Month for a mouthwatering, melted cheese delight served with a cup of classic tomato soup. If grilled cheese isn’t your favorite, there’s plenty of other tasty, all-you-can-eat options at Farmer’s Pick! You won’t want to miss this!
*Tax and gratuity not included.