The grilled cheese sandwich. That classic sandwich that somehow, I had never had before. Sure, I've tossed bread and cheese into a toaster oven or slapped some cheese between slices of toasted bread. However, I have it on good authority, that those were not grilled cheese sandwiches. A little history note - while J Kenji Lopez-Alt insists that a grilled cheese must be a closed sandwich, the earliest ones may have actually been open-faced.
Now, I must admit that when Laura chose grilled cheese for this month's Foodie Extravaganza, my brain froze for more than a second. It's a grilled cheese sandwich. How many ways can one make it? Clearly, the answer to that is several. I'm been craving spicy food lately so I immediately decided on pepper Jack cheese. Sriracha "naturally" followed. Pear joined the party for a lovely sweet contrast.
I made two versions with two different breads - one is this "English Muffin" bread. However, the main difference is that I buttered the inside of my second sandwich with a butter-sriracha mix for more heat. It made the sandwich a wee bit greasy but extra delicious. You can skip the butter-sriracha. However, I would recommend drizzling some sriracha over your pears for an extra kick, if you really like it spicy. If your pears aren't very sweet, you could even drizzle a little honey for more of the sweet and spicy contrast.
I really really enjoyed my first grilled cheese and can't wait to make more. Looking for inspiration for your own grilled cheese sandwiches? It's Grilled Cheese Month, after all. If so, check out the list below. There are lots of drool-worthy sandwiches to suit everyone's taste.
Spicy Pear Grilled Cheese
Recipe by: Kelly
Yield: 1 sandwich
2 slices of bread
1/2-1 tablespoon butter, optional
1 teaspoon sriracha, optional
2 oz cheese (I used an ounce of Pepper Jack plus a four cheese mix)
1/4 pear, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon sriracha
Heat a pan over medium-low heat.
If buttering the inside of the sandwich, mix together 1/2 - 1 tablespoon of butter (depends on the size of your bread) and a teaspoon of sriracha. Spread this evenly over the insides of both slices of bread.
Top with half the cheese, pear slices, then the rest of the cheese. Top sandwich with the second slice of bread.
Mix together mayonnaise and sriracha. Evenly spread half of the mixture over the top of the sandwich. Carefully lift the sandwich, invert and place mayo-sriracha side down in the heated pan. Spread the remaining half of the mayo-siracha on the remaining bare side.
Cook until the underside is toasted. Turn and cook on the other side until it is also toasted and the cheese has melted.
- Bacon Apple Mascarpone Grilled Cheese from Lauren at Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Caramelized Onion Bacon Grilled Cheese from Rebekah at Making Miracles
- Chicken Bacon and Avocado Grilled Cheese from Jacklyn at Mrs. Penguin
- Chicken Cordon Bleu Grilled Cheese from Marissa at Rae Gun Ramblings
- Crusty Griddle Baked Quesadillas with Poblano Rajas from Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm
- French Toast Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Berry Compote from Joy at The Joyful Foodie
- Grilled Cheese in the Garden from Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Spinach from Tara at Tara's Multicultural Table
- Ham, Apple and Sharp Cheddar Grilled Cheese from Carlee at Cooking With Carlee
- Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese from Lauren at From Gate to Plate
- Muffuletta Grilled Cheese from Stacy at Food Lust People Love
- Open Faced Italian Grilled Cheese from Kathleen at Fearlessly Creative Mammas
- Southern Grilled Cheese from Teri at The Freshman Cook
- Spicy Pear Grilled Cheese from Kelly at Passion Kneaded
Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month. This month we celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month by serving up sandwiches.