Quick, easy to prepare and made from ingredients already in the house. That’s my current definition of a comfort food. A hot, toasty grilled cheese sandwich totally fits the bill. Juicy, ripe tomatoes paired with creamy avocado, herbed goat cheese and full-flavored whole grain mustard describes my favorite grilled cheese sandwich. I can have one on a plate in about 15 minutes. Truly wonderful that so little effort provides so much comfort and pleasure. Such a very tasty way to allay any end of the year stress (can you believe it’s almost November?).
The Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich
A few years ago I read a Saveur article about making the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich. These two secrets have stayed with me:
- Cooking the sandwich over low heat,
- And “slathering the bread with butter, which crisps it in the pan.”
Over the last two weeks I’ve expanded on these two secrets. I now include vegetables and herbs and creamy goat cheese and a slathering of my homemade cultured mustard. They provide extra nutrients and probiotics along with all the comfort inherent in an ultimate grilled cheese sandwich. And, as butter tends to burn easily, I’ve been replacing it with organic coconut oil. No taste of coconut and perfectly toasted bread.
This includes using your favorite bread. I often use a rather thin-sliced sprouted multi-grain bread. Though everything from gluten-free bread to thick slices of egg, sourdough or whole wheat bread all work wonderfully. Just the thought of making this grilled cheese sandwich with Kalamata olive bread makes my mouth water.
Perhaps next time I’ll add a few fresh basil leaves. I’d put them on top of the tomato slices and under the avocado fan. Without fresh basil, I might instead defrost a jar of summer’s pesto and stir it into the goat cheese.
What do you add to your grilled cheese sandwich?
Grilled Cheese Sandwich w/ Tomato, Avocado
& Goat Cheese
Cooking times can vary depending upon the pan you use, the heat, the thickness and type of bread, as well as the thickness of the pre-cooked sandwich.
Makes 1 sandwich
Active time: 5 minutes
Total time: 13-17 minutes
2 slices bread—your choice
2-3 teaspoons coconut oil or butter
1½ tablespoons soft goat cheese
2-3 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs, i.e., chives, scallions, basil, parsley, oregano, etc.
1½ teaspoons rice milk or other milk
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons grated pecorino cheese
3 or 4 slices fresh tomato, depending upon size
Few drops balsamic vinegar, optional
1/3 avocado, thinly sliced and fanned
- Place an 8-10 inch fry pan over very low heat while you prepare your sandwich.
- Spread the coconut oil on one side of each slice of bread.
- Combine the soft goat cheese, herbs and milk in a small bowl. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid and make the cheese spreadable. Spread the softened cheese on the other side of one of the slices of bread.
- Spread the mustard on the other slice of bread (on the side without the coconut oil). Sprinkle the grated pecorino cheese over the mustard.
- Place the tomato slices on the pecorino cheese. Sprinkle a few drops of the optional balsamic vinegar over the tomato slices.
- Cover with the avocado fan.
- Top the sandwich with the other slice of bread, coconut oil side up.
- Raise the heat to medium low. Place the sandwich in the pan. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Cook the sandwich for 4-6 minutes or until the bread is toasted.
- Carefully turn the sandwich over—I use two spatulas to do this. Cover the pan and cook for another 4-6 minutes.
- Transfer the Grilled Cheese Sandwich w/ Tomato, Avocado & Goat Cheese to a cutting board. Use a sharp serrated knife with a sawing motion to cut the sandwich in half.