Adding a new layer to the mere sandwich

04/28/2014 4:09 PM

04/28/2014 4:11 PM

I love a sandwich but I seldom make them for my grandchildren – and really haven’t paid much attention to any new trends or recipes lately. My first couple of grandsons turn their noses up (much like a former brother-in-law) at the thought of being served “merely” a sandwich.

But, recently, after one of my youngest grandsons asked me if I could “go to a class to learn how to make a sandwich,” I decided it was time to find some really yummy ones that even the most snobbish grandchild (or adult) would like. It’s hard for me to decide which I like best, but it’s probably the Caramel Apple Grilled Cheese. The bacon provides a nice balance between the crisp, tart apples and the sweet caramel sauce. Enjoy!

Caramel Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwich (with Bacon)

Adapted from Closet Cooking blog

Makes one sandwich.

1/2 apple, cored and thinly sliced (see directions below)

1 tablespoon butter

2 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces and cooked

2 slices of bread

2 slices cheddar (or 1/2 cup shredded)

1 tablespoon caramel sauce

It’s your option to lightly sauté the apple slices in the bacon grease until tender, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or leave them crisp, but they stay inside the sandwich much better if they are soft. After cooking the bacon, and sautéing the applies, if desired, heat another pan over medium heat. Butter the outside side of each slice of bread, place one slice in the pan buttered side down, top with half of the cheese, the apple, caramel sauce, bacon, the remaining cheese and finally the other slice of bread. Grill until golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted, about 2-4 minutes per side. Serve with additional caramel sauce for dipping.

Simple & Delicious Grilled Caprese Sandwiches

Makes four sandwiches.

8 slices (about 11 oz.) rustic sourdough or Italian country bread

2 large garlic cloves, halved

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 slices (6 oz.) mozzarella cheese

2 ripe heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced

1/2 cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers

16 large basil leaves

About 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

About 1/2 tsp. pepper

Rub a side of each slice of bread with a cut side of garlic and brush with oil. Layer the plain side of half the bread with cheese, tomatoes and peppers, dividing evenly. Top with remaining bread, garlic side up. Cook two sandwiches at a time in a large frying pan over medium-low heat, covered, turning sandwiches once, until golden brown and cheese is melted, 6 minutes. Tuck four slices basil into each sandwich. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Balsamic Roasted Cherry, Dark Chocolate and Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwich

From the Closet Cooking blog

A summery grilled cheese with balsamic roasted cherries, dark chocolate and plenty of melted Brie. Who knew sandwiches could be so yummy? Makes one sandwich.

1/2 cup cherries, pitted and halved

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (or brandy or port)

1 tablespoon butter

2 slices bread

1 1/2 ounces Brie, room temperature

1 ounce dark chocolate, chopped, room temperature

Toss the cherries in the balsamic vinegar, place them on a baking sheet in a single layer, and roast in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Heat a pan over medium heat. Butter one side of each slice of bread, place one slice in the pan with buttered side down, top with half of the cheese, the chocolate, cherries, the remaining cheese and finally the other side of bread with buttered side up. Grill until golden brown and the cheese and chocolate has melted, about 2-4 minutes per side.

This can also be made with other fruits that go well with chocolate such as strawberries and raspberries. Just be sure to roast whatever fruit you choose so that you don’t end up with a soggy sandwich. Not only does the roasting help remove some of the moisture but it will also intensify the flavor.

-- Suzi Hogan and her husband, Tim, live in Mansfield.

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