Monday, April 20, 2015

Roasted Asparagus & Four Cheese Sandwich

Whether you are or are not aware, April is National Grilled Cheese Month. Cheese lover that I am, this is one observance that I find I can fully embrace. As such, I have been trolling the web for all sorts of ideas and, let me tell you, there are plenty. I have actually learned quite a lot, the knowledge of which will forever alter the way in which I make a grilled cheese sandwich. If, like me, you have been sandwiching slices of cheese between two pieces of bread, I have this to say: stop it. That is not the way to make a tasty grilled cheese.

First of all, let's talk bread. It has to be good, and I'm talking bakery shop good. If it comes in a plastic wrapper at your local market with a colorful name stamped on the side, avoid it. Get yourself something hearty and fresh from your local bakery or bread store. I used a giant French loaf from St. Louis Bread Company (a.k.a. Panera).  One slice was big enough for one sandwich.

Secondly, the cheese. The best way is to use shredded rather than sliced cheese, and to use a cheese blend. Get creative! A grilled cheese sandwich is an excellent way to use up those little bits of cheese that tend to lodge themselves into the corner of the cheese drawer. Adding a bit of acid in the form of fresh lemon juice, and an extra bit of flavor in the form of a shake or two of hot sauce (or spritz of prepared mustard) can really elevate a grilled cheese sandwich into something special. Insert fruit, vegetables, or a combination of the two (apples, pears, leeks, onions, broccoli, mushrooms, and asparagus all seem to work in various combinations), and you have a work of sandwich art.

With asparagus in season, and a wide variety of cheeses in my fridge, I came up with this combination and absolutely loved it. It was, without a doubt, the best grilled cheese sandwich I have ever eaten.
Roasted Asparagus & Four Cheese Sandwich
Makes 1 sandwich

4 thin asparagus stalks, woody ends snapped off
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese
¼ cup grated gruyere cheese
2 tablespoons cottage cheese
A drizzle of lemon juice
4 drops hot pepper sauce

2 bread slices
1 tablespoons softened butter

Toss asparagus in oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place under the broiler and roast for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned.

Mix cheeses, lemon juice, and hot sauce together in a small bowl.  Lightly butter the two slices of bread on one side only.  Spread a thick layer of cheese on each non-buttered side.  Place one slice of bread, butter side down in a saute pan.  Top with asparagus slices and then with another slice of bread, cheese side down.

Cook until golden brown. Flip to the other side, and press down lightly with a spatula.  Cook until golden brown. Serve immediately.
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Linda said...

Lemon juice! Never thought about it, but yes! A grilled cheese is my very favorite meal - thanks for a fresh idea.

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

You always have the very best recipes. I love this one and as soon as I can start eating a few more carbs that is the first thing I am going to make. It sounds yummy. I love grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup. I also like to slice tomatoes into the grilled cheese when I am making them.
Have a great week and I am sure looking forward to when I can have one of those sandwiches.

chateau chic said...

Wow...this looks like the best grilled cheese sandwich I've ever seen. My mouth is watering as I write!! Thanks for the tips which I will definitely be trying.
I appreciate your lovely visit to my blog.
Mary Alice

~~louise~~ said...

Grilled Cheese sure has come a long way from when I was a kid Pattie:) I'm glad that it has been all dolled up for the 21st century, lol...You've done a fabulous job with this recipe. Not only does it look messy face worthy, it sounds delicious! I haven't splurged on one grilled cheese sandwich yet this month. I may not be able to resist this one:) Thanks for sharing, Pattie...Happy Grilled Cheese Month...(FYI-April 12th was Grilled Cheese Day:)

P.S. Not blogging yet, just visiting:)

Unknown said...

I need this in my life, and I actually have all of the ingredients available! It must be fate!

NewMrsAdventures said...

I LOVE this idea! Can't wait to try it! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!