Grilled Cheese with Avocado Spread
I think that anyone who loves cheese probably has a special affinity for a good, old-fashioned grilled cheese sandwich. For me, images of gooey yellow cheese and crispy, buttery bread bring back a flood of happiness and a twinge of longing for the simplicity of childhood. Alas, as an adult I am horrified by the processed cheese that nevertheless haunts me in the form of fond memories. Fortunately the solution is a simple one: thoroughly embrace the grown-up grilled cheese. I promise it will make your visions of skinny bread slices and rubbery yellow cheesefood look lackluster by comparison.
The beauty of a grilled cheese is that it can become a complex delicacy while still retaining that essential and almost indescribable quality that makes it such a timeless, comforting favorite. Simply choosing flavorful cheese is the first step toward greatness and it only gets better from there. The trick is to think big. Move past your obsession with cheddar, pair cheeses, experiment with breads, add unexpected ingredients. Think caramelized onions, apples, pears, vegetables, cured meats, spices, and yes, creamy and delicious avocados. You will find a whole world within this culinary escapade!
In this case I have created an avocado spread to adorn my creation. I like the texture of the cool, creamy but slightly chunky avocado spread next to the melted cheese and crispy bread. I also chose to continue my childhood experience of grilled cheese by serving it with soup, so I swapped out a classic tomato for Carrot, Ginger, and Sesame Soup. As always, be creative and have fun when you re-envision your old favorites—it will make a tremendous force in the kitchen!
8 slices of sourdough bread (or any other bread you like)
Butter, at room temperature
4 ounces of English cheddar, shredded
4 ounces of Gruyère, shredded (use more of each cheese if you have extremely large slices of bread to cover. The trick is to have a pile on each sandwich that will become super gooey, so don’t skimp!)
2 ripe avocados
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
Cut the avocados open and scoop the flesh into a small bowl; add the lime juice, salt, pepper, and cilantro and mash with a fork until fairly smooth, but some larger chunks of avocado remain. Stir in the diced tomatoes, cover, and set aside for an hour to let the flavors mingle.
Meanwhile, shred the cheese (an important step to ensure it melts evenly). Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Liberally butter the bread slices. Cover 4 of the slices with the shredded English cheddar. Top the cheddar with the avocado spread, using a quarter of the spread for each sandwich. Top with the Gruyère and another slice of buttered bread.
Set sandwiches (two at a time) in the skillet and cook until golden brown, making sure to press down on the top of the sandwich with a spatula periodically during cooking; the goal is to get the cheese to really glue the entire gooey inside to the bread. After two minutes or so check the underside of the sandwich to see if it is golden and then flip. Remove from the heat when both sides of the bread are golden and crispy and the cheese is completely melted. Enjoy!
I want to do this.