Who says you can’t transform those last scraps of turkey into a HEAVENLY Shepard’s Pie? When you follow my instructions and pipe the sweet potato onto the top of the casserole dish in artful little dollops, compliments will follow! Substitute the lamb for your turkey and you’ll be set.
Let’s get CHEESY on Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day or anytime ooey-gooey-melty cheese is required in your household! This is my legendary grilled cheese recipe. Save and share!
Cheese is my go-to snack.
I hide my favorites in the back of the cold cut drawer so that I can sneak in to grab a wedge, a cube, or a slice when no one is looking!
I like grilled cheese, cauliflower dunked in cheese sauce, pimento cheese sandwiches, melting cheese dips, shredded cheese in the middle of my omelets, brie cheese on my panini press sandwiches…Get the picture?
In my book, At Home Entertaining, The Art of Hosting Parties with Style and Panache (PS you can still find a copy on Amazon!) I designed a party that I called Dinner for Four on the Floor.
This was based on one of the first dinner parties I ever hosted.
I was in my one bedroom apartment hosting my (soon-to-be-hubby) boyfriend and my best friend, Sherry and her hubby, Jon.
My small dining table sat two, so I improvised and threw cushions on the floor around my slightly larger coffee table. I borrowed fondue pots from friends and served fondue for dinner and dessert.
We sat on that floor for hours forming forever friendships and stuffing our faces with bread and veggies dipped in smooth, luxurious cheese.
I still LOVE fondue. Melting cheese is yummy. Bread dipped into melting cheese is about the best THING ever!
But melting cheese sandwiched in between toasted bread is a real close second. Here’s a preview from the “Cheesy Things” section of my next book. It’s a quick tutorial on how to make the BEST DAMN Grilled Cheese sandwich you’re ever going to eat.
And while you’re at it, why not pull up some pillows next to your coffee table and invite your best friends to enjoy a bread and cheese experience that their sure to enjoy!
My Legendary Grilled Cheese Sandwich
2 tablespoons butter
2 slices bread (your choice)
2 to 4 (1-ounce) slices cheese (your choice)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Place the cheese in between the bread slices.
Now this is where it gets FUN. Spread the outsides of each sandwich with mayonnaise. Mayo will help to get that buttery crunch that is required for a great grilled cheese.
Place the sandwich into the pan. Wait 30 seconds and flip the sandwich to the other side. This first 30 seconds makes sure that the top side of the bread will crisp.
Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the bottom bread is golden, about 2 minutes more. Flip one last time and cover the sandwich with either the lid of the pan or a piece of aluminum foil. Cook until the cheese is melting, and the bottom of the bread is golden brown.
Transfer the sandwich to a plate. Keep the foil over the sandwich for 3 more minutes while the cheese settles down and then you are ready to eat!
Good old white sandwich bread and a couple of slices of American cheese are the standard for this sandwich.
While this is a great start, there are so many variations and additions for your grilled cheese sandwich, it’s hard to know where to begin.
Here are some good combos:
All American Grilled Cheese with turkey, avocado, sliced tomato, and Swiss cheese
Breakfast Grilled Cheese with thick sliced ham, scrambled eggs, and Gruyere cheese
Apple Pie Grilled Cheese with bacon, sliced apples, and cheddar cheese.
Pizza Grilled Cheese with pepperoni, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and Mozzarella cheese
Sunday Night Grilled Cheese with left-over meatloaf, caramelized onions, and Brie cheese
Philly Steak Grilled Cheese with thin slices of beef, sauteed bell peppers and onions and Provolone cheese
My Mac Grilled Cheese with a spoonful of mac ‘n cheese and layers of cheddar cheese
Buffalo Grilled Cheese with Buffalo spiced chicken, blue cheese dressing and chopped celery
If you are feeling big and bloated after the holiday season, you’re certainly not alone. A lot of us are looking to renew our gym memberships, and eat more healthfully, at least through January. This month, the hash tag #Veganuary is everywhere – it’s a trend that started in the UK urging people to try going vegan for the sake of animals and saving the planet.
As a meat lover, I’m not quite ready to jump on the solar paneled band wagon, but I can vouch for this chickpea veggie burger recipe.
Chickpea burgers have so many scrumptious possibilities! You can experiment with different ingredients, like swapping rosemary for cilantro, or topping the burger with sliced and seasoned radishes, instead of cucumbers. I like to sprinkle a little feta cheese on top of my chickpea burger – don’t tell the vegans!
While not the perfect vegan recipe, my veggie burgers ARE filled with fiber – something a much more caloric beef burger can’t claim. This is your go-to recipe for a basic veggie burger that most condiments and giant bun can make extra delicious. I like that you can make it in a skillet just like you would a grilled cheese.
Here you go! HAPPY 2020!!
Chickpea Veggie Burgers
15 minute cuisine
Yields about 6 patties
For the “burger”
1 (12-ounce) can garbanzo or “chickpeas”, drained
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Juice of 1 medium lemon, about 3 tablespoons
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
Kosher salt and coarse ground pepper
For the buns
6 whole-grain hamburger buns
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, chilled
1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced, about 1 teaspoon
1 English cucumber, sliced
Red onion, sliced
1 ounce Feta cheese, crumbled, about 3 tablespoons
In a food processor or blender, combine the garbanzo beans, cilantro, lemon juice, flour, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, pulsing until a batter like consistency forms. With a large spoon, transfer batches of the mixture to a non-stick pan, or one with 2 tablespoons olive oil for frying.
Each batch transferred to the pan should resemble a hamburger patty in size and shape.
Cook the patties for 5 to 8 minutes, about three minutes per side. Remove to a platter and top chickpea patties with the cucumber slices, onion and feta cheese.
Add the garlic to a separate pan with butter and sauté on medium low heat about 3 minutes. Brush butter/garlic over the top of each hamburger bun. Toast the top of each bun in an oven that has been preheated to 375 degrees for up to 8 minutes or until golden brown.
Place cooked patties on the bottom half of the bun, and top with the garlic buttered bun tops for the perfect bite!
Hello again friends, and happy December! I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving and wonderful Black Friday. I was feeling a lot of gratitude at my book signing event at Park Road Books in Charlotte on November 29th. To all who came out and might be reading this, thank you!
This week, my recipe is meant to make the most of those Thanksgiving leftovers, packed away in Tupperware and just begging to be used in something more inspired. For me that’s the Monte Cristo sandwich, a sweet-meets-savory classic that’s yummy enough, it’s been on Disneyland’s Blue Bayou and Tahitian Terrace menus since 1966.
My recipe calls for turkey and ham – or just one of the two – generous amounts of sweet cranberry sauce, and slices of Muenster cheese – made in a cast iron skillet as you would French toast, with a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar at the end of the recipe prep.
In my France travels, I’ve known this sandwich to be called the croque monsieur, and understand it originated in Paris around 1910. It’s cute to think the French also have a “croque madame”, basically a baked or broiled ham and cheese sandwich made with sweet bread just like monsieur, but topped with a fried egg.
You can keep it lower cal, by forgoing the skillet and using a panini press. You can also keep it vegetarian and enjoy your Monte Cristo sans turkey. I love the tang of cranberry sauce and savory cheese on sweet French toast. No matter what kind of cheese you use: Fontina, goat, Gruyere, Brie or Muenster, it’s all good!
Post-Thanksgiving Monte Cristo’s
15 minute Cuisine
Recipe makes 4 sandwiches
2 French loaves, cut into 8 slices
2 ½ cups cranberry sauce
12 ounces any cheese you like, thinly sliced or evenly spread
Several slices leftover turkey and ham (one of these meats is fine)
3 cups whole milk
6 Tablespoons butter
Confectioners’ sugar for garnish
Slather each bread slice with cranberry sauce; use as much or as little as you like. Add slices of cheese, then turkey/ham to each slice, and top with final slice of bread, cranberry sauce-side down.
In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and milk until just combined. Soak each sandwich in the mixture, about 25 seconds per side, saturated but not soggy.
Over medium heat, melt the butter in a cast iron skillet. Batch cook the sandwiches until the bottoms are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip sandwiches and cook the other sides until they are also golden, like French Toast.
Add more butter as needed to cook remaining sandwiches.
Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar before serving the sammies nice n’ warm.