Sunday, February 5, 2012

A quick and easy Meatless Monday meal...

Sometimes you're in a hurry, or you get home late from work and haven't planned dinner. The fridge looks pretty sparse or you just don't feel like peeling, washing, shopping, sauteing or any of the other cooking chores that need to be done.

Well, that happens to us sometimes and when it's Meatless Monday, we have a fallback plan. Grilled cheese! Everyone likes grilled cheese, right? We do too, but not that white bread slathered with butter and filled up with Kraft singles that our Moms (bless them) made for us.

We like to keep a pretty wide variety of cheeses in the house at all times. In fact, here's a picture of what is on hand today. I pulled them all out of the refrigerator to take this shot.

Another "must have" for us in some sort of frozen rolls, you know, just in case. We find that the Alexia brand Ciabatta rolls with rosemary and extra virgin olive oil toast up beautifully. In fact, we're not big users of prepared foods but everything we've tried from Alexia has been great.

The key to making a good grilled cheese for us to is to get a mix of flavors yet still retain that gooey, running, cheesy melt that we love. A few weeks ago, we found ourselves home late with no dinner plans. Perfect night for grilled cheese. Since the rolls are frozen, they need to be defrosted in the oven. Simply follow the package directions. The next step, and this is important, is to cut off a very thin slice from the rounded top of each roll, or simply use them inside out. This allows the sandwich to sit flat on the griddle or in the frying pan when cooking. Next, get creative. Pick and mix cheeses that you like. The only requirement is that one of them should be a good "melting" cheese. On this particular night we picked  fresh mozzarella, munster, and 2 y.o. sharp Vermont cheddar.

Cut pieces to size to fit the rolls, lightly butter or oil both sides of each roll, assemble and place in a pan on medium to medium high heat.  I'm pretty sure you don't need any further instructions on how to cook a grilled cheese.

If you want to make it even a little more special, add a nice thick slice of tomato, preferably fresh from the garden in season, or thinly sliced pear. Either way the result is a perfectly, soul satisfying little piece of comfort food that, when paired with a fresh salad or a hot bowl of tomato soup, makes a no fuss Meatless Monday dinner. Enjoy!

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