Thursday, May 13, 2010

Recipe Thursday: Sandwiches and the frying pan.

Do you know what can be really good after a long day, especially when the weather is cool? A fried sandwich. Or a grilled sandwich.

Did you eat grilled cheese as a kid - with bread that had been grilled to a golden perfection in butter on the stove? Yeah. That. So good!

You can employ this "grilling" method with any kind of sandwich you see fit. Like peanut butter and jelly, or a good old meat and cheese.

Paninis and toasted sub sandwiches seem to be all the rage right now. You can create a wonderful grilled sandwich at home, and it is about as fast as ordering one is.

While what goes in between the pieces of bread is up to you, the process is one that can be perfected.

A few pointers for the sandwich itself: don't pile it too high, or else it won't heat through before it burns, and it will just be a mess to heat! Also, a personal preference: wait to add veggies like tomato or lettuce until after the sandwich is grilled. Doing this will offer a nice contrast, and prevent your veggies from going limp and wilting.

Alright, ready?
As you make your sandwich, heat a frying pan to medium-lo to medium heat. 
When the sandwich is complete, butter one side of the bread, thoroughly. This helps with the browning and the not-sticking. And I do mean "butter thoroughly." 

With your spatula, place the sandwich into the warm pan, butter side down. If you don't hear that satisfying sizzle, adjust heat up a smidge.

Butter the top of the sandwich. Again, do so thoroughly. About this time, use your spatula to peak at the bottom. If it looks good, flip the sandwich, carefully!! If not, let it alone for another minute.

Since I'm impatient, I'm the cook who checks every minute or less until the thing is done. This undoubtedly increases cooking time.

Once flipped, you need to let the sandwich be for a few minutes. After 2 or 3, check it, and then gauge how much time is needed.

When both sides are beautiful and crisp, place the sandwich-masterpiece on a plate. If you are adding veggies, do so now.

Cut the sandwich in half, and pull the halves apart so you can marvel at the yummy goodness. This also gives you restaurant-quality presentation. Because that is the most important thing. ;)

I think that this makes regular meat-and-cheese sandwiches special, and more dinner-like. It is also a fun treat for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Just delightful.

Have you done this before? Any particular favorite sandwich to grill/fry?


Cam said... I'm hungry :)

Can you believe that there are people who haven't had grilled pb and j? Shocking but true. I've known people who turn their noses up at the thought, but once they try it, they're converted!

Favorites? Hmm, so many. I like adding tomato to my grilled cheese. I also like peanut butter and nutella or jelly and nutella.

If I want to make a deluxe sandwich, I do something a little differently. I fry an egg and once it's cooked to your liking (I prefer runny yolks), add cheese on top so that it melts. Also put the lunchmeat in the pan so that it heats. While this is going on, toast your bread in the toaster. I put a little mayo on the toast, combine the cheesy egg and meat and maybe add some tomato. It's not quite a grilled cheese sandwich, but it's quite tasty.

swiggett said...

I adore fried egg sandwiches. I, too, like my yolk runny. Instead of mayo, though, I use butter. Toast the bread, butter, salt, pepper and egg. Simple and delicious.