Three things about this sandwich that made me really happy:
1) The fact that it felt like dessert... for lunch. Which it probably was. But I'm still going to call it lunch (hey, whatever I gotta do to get by, right?)
2) How ridiculously easy it was to make. And the small ingredient list, most of which you likely already have sitting in your fridge/pantry as you read this.
3) How gooey and oozy and messy and fun to eat it was.
One thing that made me sad:
The fact that I left my camera at a friend's place and had to rely on my Blackberry to relay how awesome-looking it is to you. Which is falling short. Because it looked really awesome, and only looks somewhat awesome here. Sad face.
Closet Cooking is a great Toronto-based food blog that recently featured a round-up of the author's all-time favourite grilled cheeses.
The list is complete and total madness. It hurt me to read it and know that I had yet to taste every single one of those variations on the ol' classic. I mean, a Jalapeno Popper grilled cheese with cream cheese and crumbled tortilla chips? Lay me to rest now.
Upon discovering it, I vowed to make my way through that list, starting with the sammie in the number-one spot, the Caramelized Apple Grilled Cheese. And if this sandwich is any indication, it's going to be a glorious adventure.
The caramelized apples are so easy to make and fill your home with the most wonderful apple-pie scent. Even if I hated the sandwich (which I didn't) I'd saute some up again just to make my home smell that pretty.
The assemblage was messy, and the caramel butter sauce was dripping down my arm as I tried to take an un-shaking photo (fail). Don't think that I didn't... deal with that situation accordingly, though. I also personally cleaned the pan with a spoon (to make it easier for the dishwasher to clean, obv).
Ta-dum! The finished product when beautifully stacked with the tender caramelized apples slightly falling out the front was so, so much prettier than this photo conveys.
My only modification was a slather of some good dijon inside one of the slices of bread (the one that the cheese was placed against, definitely not the apple side!) For me it added that extra kick to offset the sweetness of the caramel that I needed.
As I said before, this totally felt like a dessert. My nana's apple pie with good cheddar cheese on top, like my mom taught me to add, to be specific. It was rich and caramel-y and cheesy and buttery and totally sinful-tasting. Need I say more?
My boyfriend went with tart granny smith apples (un-caramelized, what a wuss) ham and honey dijon. I stole his for a photo op despite the whining in the background of it getting cold.
Bottom line: check out Closet Cooking for some insane variations on your standard grilled cheese, among other drool-worthy recipes. Or toss a bit of apple in your next grilled cheese.
Either way, you'll be glad you did.
Recipe found here.
Recipe found here.