Food: Feeling cheesy

Now that it finally feels like summer (given that we’re cranking up the AC to arctic levels), my desire to prepare any sort of dish has dropped exponentially. I just want to lie in the sun and hang out with my dog while drowning myself in SPF.

Of course, I have to be a person and feed myself eventually and as tempting as it may be to get take out all summer long, it doesn’t seem like the fiscally responsible thing to do.

While browsing my grocery store in a hunger-induced haze I ended up purchasing an assortment of cheese (because cheese is life). The only logical thing I could think of doing after treating myself to a luxurious amount of cheese was to make an insane amount of grilled cheese, but not just any grilled cheese. Elevated grilled cheese. The type of grilled cheese you would find in a cutesy bistro that serves food in an unconventional (hipster) manner (like with a shovel or a sink).

So friends, I present to you four different grilled cheeses for those days when a slice of American just isn’t classy enough for you.

Pesto aioli and Gruyeré

2 slices ciabatta bread

1 tablespoon pesto

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

3 slices Gruyeré

butter

Wow your friends with this flavor packed grilled cheese that takes minutes to make, but will make people think you’re an absolute genius for creating. In a small bowl combine the pesto and mayonnaise together to make the aioli. Butter one side of each slice of bread, spread the aioli on the other sides of the bread, place the cheese on the bread and cook it in a frying pan at a medium heat until the cheese melts and the bread is evenly toasted.

Smoked Gouda, tomato with truffle oil

2 slices ciabatta bread

1 slice smoked Gouda

1 slice tomato

1 tablespoon truffle oil

Instead of buttering the bread, dip each slice in truffle oil to give it a lighter flavor and place a slice of tomato and Gouda on it before cooking it in a frying pan until the cheese melts and the bread is evenly toasted. This feels fancy, but it’s not too much. Cooks can also add bacon if they want more of a smoky flavor.

BAT and cheddar

2 slices sourdough bread

2 slices cooked bacon

1 ripe avocado

1 slice tomato

2-3 slices Vermont aged cheddar

butter

Cut the avocado into thin slices (if you’re avocado-challenged a few spoonfuls of guacamole also works) and place on the buttered bread with the bacon, tomato and cheddar. Cook in a frying pan on a medium heat until the cheese melts and the bread is evenly toasted. This is great for those looking for a heartier grilled cheese.

Brie and fig

2 slices ciabatta

2-3 tablespoons fig jam

2-3 tablespoons brie

butter

Butter the bread, and on the other side spread a layer of jam and brie on each side. Cook in a frying pan on a medium heat until the cheese melts and the bread is toasted. What’s great about this is that it is light and sweet and will make you feel like you’re relaxing in a Parisian cafe.

Please note that any bread can be used for these types of grilled cheese; the breads noted in the recipes were selected based on my preference for courser breads.

About author
TinaMarie Craven is the Arts & Leisure editor. She previously worked as the editor of the Monroe Courier and the Lewisboro Ledger. She graduated from Ithaca College with a BA in Journalism and Politics in 2015.

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