I don’t know about you, but when my pantry is bare and I open my fridge to see a bunch of (really old) leftovers that don’t scream, “eat me” — I can always turn to my friend, the humble grilled cheese.
I jazz it up when I can and this version is so tasty that I had to share. It isn’t difficult to make, but tastes like it comes from a gourmet sandwich shop. You can use just about any bread you have on hand and whatever cheese you have, too. I prefer a sharp cheddar or brie. The key to this sandwich is the thinly sliced, tart apples and the light spread of sweet/hot Bavarian mustard or any other whole grain mustard that has a sweet and spicy taste to it. No yellow or Dijon, please! They will overpower the delicate flavor of the apples.
One of the keys to making a perfect grilled cheese is patience and a low temp on your stove top. If the temperature is too high, you will grill the outside too quickly and your cheese won’t melt. Just like Mr. Miyagi says, “Patience, Grasshopper!” If you wait a few more minutes, you will have the most delicious, melty and crispy bite. I promise!
To make one sandwich you will need:
Two slices of bread (I used a potato bread in the photo above, but you can use anything)
about 1 Tbs of butter, softened
enough sharp cheddar, sliced rather thinly, to cover the bread twice
4 or 5 very thin apple slices (I used fuji here, but granny smith apples are the best for this sandwich)
sweet and spicy whole grain mustard — enough to lightly spread on one piece of bread
Heat a skillet over medium heat. While that is getting warm, spread butter liberally on one side of both pieces of bread. On one piece of bread, spread the mustard thinly on the unbuttered side. Place this piece of bread butter side down in your skillet, then build your sandwich in the pan. Layer your cheese on the mustard, then apple slices, then more cheese. Add your other piece of bread, butter side up and watch your sandwich. Don’t press it down! This is not a Panini, people.
Check your sandwich every now and then to make sure it isn’t getting too brown, and flip after about 3-4 minutes. If your cheese hasn’t started melting, be careful when you flip so you don’t mess up your beautiful layering work!
Cook on the other side for another 3-4 minutes, watching to make sure it isn’t burning. If it looks like it is getting too brown, just turn the heat down a little.
You may have to flip it back over and heat it again on the first side, just to get that cheese gooey. You will know if you try to pull apart the bread and it won’t separate.
Cut this sandwich in half when it is done and don’t share it with your kids. They won’t appreciate it — it’s an adult thang!