Friday, April 12, 2013

National Grilled Cheese Day

Social media has informed me that today is National Grilled Cheese Day. Yummy. Who doesn't like melty cheese sandwiched between 2 slices of bread? It is a great meal or snack. Eat it alone or dunk it in soup. Dress it up with bacon, spinach, and "fancy" cheeses, or go for the gold with classic yellow American slices.

I would have said that even the most culinary challenged among us can make a grilled cheese, but I witnessed the grilling episode of Worst Cooks in America where one contestant with an aversion to meat put a block of cheese directly on the grill and was amazed that instead of searing, it melted. I guess I shouldn't take grilled cheese making for granted.

Mozzarella and Caper Grilled Cheese might not be a recipe for those without basic cooking skills, but it isn't difficult. The egg dip is similar to preparations for French toast and provides a rich, heartiness. However, I must warn to use firm bread for this grilled delicacy. Soft white sandwich bread won't hold up to the egg bath and dense, fresh mozzarella. If you like salty, you will agree that capers are a perfect pairing for the mild, creamy cheese and add a delicious tang to the sandwich.

(adapted from Gourmet)

6 slices firm white bread
1/4 cup capers, drained and chopped
3-4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch slices, at room temperature
1/8 cup flour
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

Arrange slices of bread on cutting board. 
Divide capers among the slices of bread and spread evenly.
Divide the mozzarella among 6 slices of the bread and season with pepper.
Place remaining slices of bread on top to create sandwiches.
Cut off and discard the crusts.
Coat sandwiches with flour.
Beat egg, milk and a pinch of salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.
Heat butter with olive oil in a large, heavy skillet.
Meanwhile, dip sandwiches, one at a time, into egg mixture. 
Fry, turning once, until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels.
Cut sandwiches into quarters and serve immediately. (Yields 3 sandwiches or 12 appetizers)

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