Salvation and redemption

Remove from pan and let sit three minutes or so before cutting.

BY DEBBIE MATTHEWS, The Curious Cook
Posted 8/21/20

More than waiting in line, outside, in the summer, more than blisters from new shoes, more than adding up my American Express bill each month, I hate wasting food.

More than a frosted lemonade, …

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Salvation and redemption

Remove from pan and let sit three minutes or so before cutting.

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A delicious grilled cheese sandwich is enhanced by — of all things — mayonnaise.
A delicious grilled cheese sandwich is enhanced by — of all things — mayonnaise.
Photo courtesy of Debbie Matthew
Posted

More than waiting in line, outside, in the summer, more than blisters from new shoes, more than adding up my American Express bill each month, I hate wasting food.

More than a frosted lemonade, more than a new Mad magazine, more than no line at the bank, I love rustic, artisanal, bakery breads.

This puts me on the horns of a dilemma.

I’d love to fill my kitchen with sourdough miche, ciabatta rolls, multi-grain loaves and big, fat, yeast rolls. But the drawback to these kinds of breads is that they go furry quickly, and go stale even quicker.

So, what’s a girl, to whom throwing away food is anathema, to do?

This girl uses the bread as fresh as possible for things like tomato sandwiches, made with garden fresh tomatoes.

Once the bread goes stale, it’s still great for grilled or toasted sandwiches. After that, but before it goes furry, bag it and place it in the freezer. It’s perfect for bread crumbs and coating for oven-baked pork chops and chicken. I haven’t bought Shake & Bake or any breader for literally decades.

But even from the chill chest, this bread can make a delicious, unusual starchy sandwich siding.

Thaw two slices of the bread. Spread a little softened butter on one side of each. Place, buttered side down onto heated skillet and cook until browned and crispy. While grilling, the other side will become as soft as fresh.

Then spread the grilled sides with sandwich fixings. Tuna is terrific on this reclaimed bread.

This procedure makes the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich you will ever put in your mouth. The buttery crunch of a grilled PB&J is wonderful. But peanut butter and jelly will both warm, soften, and drizzle right out once you pick it up. This way, though, you can wait a minute until it cools, and you get the buttery crusty, along with the soft pillowy experience of fresh bread on the outside.

Below, I’ve got a couple of recipes for our favorite grilled cheese sandwiches. The mayonnaise may seem odd, but the egg in it makes the crust almost take on a savory French toast texture.

Thanks for your time.

Contact me at debbie@bullcity.mom.

Petey’s Perfect Grilled Cheese

2 slices hearty rustic bread

4 slices bacon, cooked ‘til very crispy

2 slices Velveeta cheese

1/3 cup shredded mild cheddar

2 teaspoons mayonnaise

Heat a cast-iron or other heavy skillet on medium-low. Make sandwich: 1 slice Velveeta, shredded cheddar, bacon, then the final slice of Velveeta. Spread mayo on the outside of both slices of bread.

Place sandwich onto heated skillet. Cover pan and cook until cheese has begun to melt. Uncover and cook until the first side is browned and crispy.

Flip sandwich and cook the other side until done.

Debbie’s Deluxe Grilled Cheese

2 slices hearty rustic bread

4 thin slices of the sharpest cheddar you can find

1-2 teaspoons brown deli or Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoons horseradish (optional)

2 tablespoons onion jam (*recipe is in the Nov. 22, 2019, edition of the News +Record)

2 teaspoons mayonnaise

Heat skillet to medium-low. Mix mustard and horseradish until smooth.

Construct sandwich: spread mustard on one slice of bread, then layer two slices cheddar, onion jam, topping with last two slices.

Spread one teaspoon mayo on the outside of each slice of bread.

Place sandwich onto heated skillet. Cover pan and cook until cheese has begun to melt. Uncover and cook until the first side is browned and crispy.

Flip sandwich and cook the other side until done.

Remove from pan and let sit three minutes or so before cutting.

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