Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spicy Pear Grilled Cheese - Foodie Extravaganza

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. 

Eat immediately.
  • Drizzle extra sriracha and honey inside your sandwich, if desired. 
  • I loved the mayo-sriracha combination but you could use all butter in your sandwich. 

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.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday. If you are a blogger and would like to participate in the next Foodie Extravaganza, just go to our Facebook page to join. We would love to have you!

Follow our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest board for past events and more deliciousness!

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  1. Yes to sweet and salty and spicy! As you have figured out now, Kelly, the combinations for grilled cheese sandwiches are infinite. You picked a good one!

    1. Thanks, Stacy! I was defiinitely missing out on all the possibilities.

  2. Oh my! What a fantastic combination of sweet and spicy - awesome filling for your perfect grilled cheese!

  3. That sounds like a really interesting combination. I will have to try it!

  4. Sriracha makes everything extra yummy, doesn't it? Love that you paired it with pears, too. I love the sweet, spicy, savory combo!

  5. The combo of sriracha and pear - I never would have put it together, but it sounds incredible. Great sandwich, Kelly.

  6. Oh wow! How do you get all grown up without eating a grilled cheese? I say this, knowing I talked about our two friends who did exactly that on my blog. So glad you tried one now!

    1. I think of grilled cheese as being a very American thing. I'm not American so it was just never part of my cuisine. :-)

  7. I love this combination, so sweet and spicy!!

  8. I love a good grilled cheese. This has all the perfect elements - cheesy, spicy, fruity!