Grilled cheese sandwiches are one of my absolute favorite comfort foods in the winter months. When I was a child, my mother would make us grilled cheese sandwiches using a big old grilled cheese press with a metal handle, springs and all. We'd always eat our grilled cheese with a piping hot bowl of tomato soup for dipping, and a pickle on the side. I still make grilled cheese quite frequently, but I'm not quite equipped with a dedicated grilled cheese press, so I use a large frying pan with a lid, on the stovetop.
I love to experiment with different grilled cheese varieties. I've tried making grilled cheese on ciabatta bread, raisin bread, and rye bread. You name it, and I've put cheese on it and fried it. I've even attempted to make a grilled cheese on a croissant, which sounds pretty fantastic, but was actually an epic fail. And then there was that time that I made a mini grilled cheese and used it to garnish my Bloody Caeser. To be honest, I am pretty traditional in the grilled cheese department and do prefer a nice fresh crusty loaf of white bread with some aged white cheddar.
Grilled cheese toppings are where my creativity really blossoms. I like to add a slice of tomato or some hot peppers, maybe some avocado slices, or red pepper, but my absolute favorite way to eat a grilled cheese is with some slow cooked glazed balsamic mushrooms and onions, and some fresh spinach. The balsamic vinegar adds a tanginess that cuts through the rich and creamy texture from the cheese. The spinach adds a nice pop of color and a freshness that is incredible. The BEST way to eat grilled cheese.
GRILLED CHEESE WITH
BALSAMIC GLAZED MUSHROOMS, ONIONS, AND FRESH SPINACH
makes 4 sandwiches
prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
2 tbsp salted butter
2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 sweet onion, sliced
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
8 slices bread
2 tbsp butter, room temperature
4 slices Kraft cheese
1 cup baby spinach
In a large frying pan, heat 2 tbsp butter on medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and onions and fry until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and continue to fry until the mushrooms and onions have formed a nice dark caramelized glaze, approximately 20 minutes.
Heat a large frying pan on medium.
To assemble the sandwiches, butter the bread, one side only. With the buttered side on the outside, fill each sandwich with a slice of cheese and a quarter of the onion/mushrooms mixture. Place the sandwiches onto the frying pan (as many as will fit into the pan at once) and cover with a tight fitting lid. Fry each side until golden brown, and the cheese is melted.
Remove from the pan and add 1/4 cup of baby spinach to each sandwich. Slice in half and serve warm.