lasagna grilled cheese

lasagna grilled cheese 1243

I know what you are probably thinking as you read this…

“Really, Natalie? Lasagna inside of a grilled cheese? Is that really necessary?”

No, of course not.

But the best things never really are, are they?

This idea came to me one day at lunch. I had brought some leftover lasagna and garlic bread to work, being the frugal girl that I am, and upon eating them realized that if I put my lasagna on top of my garlic bread I could consume twice the food in half the time!

It turns out that together they are a force to be reckoned with. Better than either two could ever dream of being on their own.

Then, lightbulb.

I immediately texted Future Husband to let him know of my genius plans.

“LASAGNA GRILLED CHEESE WITH GARLIC BREAD CRUST! PREPARE YOUR ARTERIES!”

lasagna grilled cheese 1252

It’s a simple equation, really. Lasagna = Good. Grilled cheese = Good. Lasagna + Grilled Cheese = Double Good!

Am I right?  I mean, I’m pretty sure the logic there is flawless…

FH, though initially confused by the idea, accepted its genius at his first bite. In fact, he loved it so much that he told me I should do a a whole post just about the bread, because the bread alone was THAT GOOD.

I won’t do that to you though, I’ve already drawn this out enough by first sharing the lasagna recipe with you separately, of course you can use whatever lasagna recipe you like.

So here you are… Lasagna grilled cheese… In all of its glory.

Delicious homey comfort food for those of us who don’t plan on donning bikinis anytime soon.

lasagna grilled cheese

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Serving Size: 1 sandwich

Ingredients

    For the sandwich
  • 4 slices sturdy bread
  • 2 slices leftover lasagna
  • 2 slices mozzarella
  • 2 slices provolone
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • Garlic butter
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped or smashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

    Make the garlic butter
  1. Melt butter over medium-low heat in a small pan. Add garlic and salt; continue cooking over low/medium-low until very fragrant and cloves are lightly-browned and the salt has dissolved. Keep an eye on the butter making sure not to burn either the butter or the garlic.
  2. Remove from heat and pour into heat-proof container, straining out the garlic cloves. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. Make the grilled cheese
  4. Gently re-heat the lasagna in the microwave. It doesn't need to get super hot but you will definitely want to take the chill off.
  5. Heat a skillet over medium heat until hot. Arrange your mise en place so you can work quickly.
  6. Brush the outsides of your bread slices with garlic butter and gently press into the parmesan cheese. You can butter the insides if you want to, I mean at this point our arteries won't really notice the difference.
  7. Place two pieces of bread with the insides-down (buttered-sides up) on the skillet to toast.
  8. Once toasted flip the bread and top 1 slice of each sandwich with mozzarella and lasagna then with provolone. Top with other slice of bread (buttered side still up) and tent with foil (or a lid) until cheese just begins to melt, being careful not to burn the bottom bread.
  9. Carefully flip the sandwiches to toast the second side and tent again with foil if the cheese still needs help melting. Continue cooking until the bottom is completely toasted.
  10. Remove from heat and cool slightly before serving.

Notes

* This would also be great as an open-faced sandwich. Just place the cheese and lasagna on one piece of the bread and tent to melt the cheese. Enjoy with a fork and knife.

* I used skillet lasagna for this grilled cheese but I suspect regular lasagna would work just fine (and be a bit less messy).

http://wee-eats.com/2014/04/28/lasagna-grilled-cheese/

lasagna grilled cheese - wee-eats.com

caprese grilled cheese

caprese grilled cheese 1266

I heard a rumor that April is apparently “National Grilled Cheese Month” (which is apparently a thing now). Since I had the whole month of April to hop on board with this theme, naturally I waited until the last (full) week to do so.

We’ll start with one of my favorite combos – caprese.

The bright flavor of the pesto with warm, creamy cheese, fresh ripe tomatoes, and crisp garlicky bread … Just trust me when I say that this combination is not one that you want to miss out on.

It’s basically spring inside of a sandwich.  Well, Spring inside of a warm, gooey grilled cheese sandwich. The hearty bread combined with the rich cheese and the burst of fresh ripe tomatoes makes this sandwich the perfect balance of filling and refreshing.

caprese grilled cheese

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Serving Size: 1 sandwich

Ingredients

    For the grilled cheese
  • 4 slices of hearty bread (I used Trader Joe's country white)
  • 2 slices mozzarella cheese, halved if necessary
  • 2 slices provolone or fontina cheese, halved if necessary
  • 1 roma tomato, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
  • 4 basil leaves, torn
  • 2 Tablespoons pesto, homemade or storebought
  • Garlic butter (recipe below)
  • Garlic butter
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped or smashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

    Make the garlic butter
  1. Melt butter over medium-low heat in a small pan. Add garlic and salt; continue cooking over low/medium-low until very fragrant and cloves are lightly-browned and the salt has dissolved. Keep an eye on the butter making sure not to burn either the butter or the garlic.
  2. Remove from heat and pour into heat-proof container, straining out the garlic cloves. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. Make the grilled cheese
  4. Have your mise en place ready to go as this will go quickly.
  5. Heat your skillet on medium heat until warmed. Place bread slices inside-down on your skillet and brush the tops with the garlic butter.
  6. Once the insides are toasted, flip over and spread inside of bread with pesto sauce.
  7. Layer with cheeses, basil leaves, tomato and another slice of cheese (I like to cheese both sides of my grilled cheese).
  8. Tent with foil (or a lid if you're fancy enough to own one) until the cheese begins to melt.
  9. Close the sandwiches and continue cooking until completely heated through and cheese is melted, flipping if necessary.
http://wee-eats.com/2014/04/21/caprese-grilled-cheese/

caprese-grilled-cheese-pin

short rib grilled cheese

short rib cheese

Even though I was convinced I just saw this recipe a couple weeks ago in my Bon Appétit, I went back to my bookshelf and turns out… February 2010 cover recipe. No big deal. Apparently the cover picture was just hibernating in my subconscious waiting for the perfect time to spring out and jerk my hunger chains. Grilled cheese and short rib sandwich with pickled caramelized onions and arugula… yeah, pretty full of win.

The issue? Finding short ribs. I checked all my usual stores during my regular shopping and didn’t see any. Finally, the morning after thanksgiving, I stopped at the store on my way home from the gym. I found short ribs, but they were the “last chance 50% off buy these before they spoil” short ribs… not gonna cut it. Unfortunately for them, that let me know that the option existed. The friendly man behind the meat counter at my local Safeway grocery store was sweet enough to go in the back and cut them for me fresh. I was so excited… until he handed me the package.

30+ dollars for my package of short ribs!? Wish I had known that ahead of time. I was tempted to dump them into the cooler and abandon my dreams of short rib grilled cheese… but after waiting for like 25 minutes for the poor guy to get them, cut them, and package them specially for me, I felt obligated to purchase them. I went to buy a loaf of hearty bread and… there was none. I probably should’ve anticipated that the store would be ransacked and empty the day after thanksgiving, but I didn’t. what ever happened to home-made rolls, people? Fresh bread for thanksgiving? Come on, lazybones, a loaf of store bought bread on thanksgiving? Really? Leaving me with no options the next day? I gave up and was forced to use wimpy bread, making it more of a knife-and-fork sandwich, but delicious no less.

Still medium defeated, I returned home and began cooking. Sure, I should’ve been eating leftovers, but this sandwich was in my head. I couldn’t get it out. I needed to make it before my brain exploded. I began braising the short ribs on the stove top, made my onions ahead of time, and sat around all day while the house smelled delicious.

Boyfriend ate one and a half sandwiches, they were darn tasty. My issue was with the short ribs themselves. Even after I picked out as much fat as I could, I felt like I threw away pretty much half of my meat. $15 of meat just gone, because I deemed it too fatty. So while the sandwiches were delicious, I don’t know if I would spring for short ribs again, or if I did I might pull the trick of putting the cooked short ribs in the oven to dry out a bit. I bet that would be super tasty…

Regardless, I give you

Bon Appetit’s Grilled Cheese and Short Rib Sandwiches (with Pickled Caramelized Onions and Arugula )

[ Printable Recipe ]

Short Ribs

  • 5 pounds beef short ribs
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup low-salt beef broth
  • 1/3 cup medium-dry Sherry
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large fresh thyme sprig

Pickled Caramelized Onions

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 large red onions, halved, thinly sliced crosswise (about 6 cups)
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Assembly

  • Butter, room temperature
  • 16 slices country-style crusty white bread
  • 12 ounces Petit Basque or Monterey
  • Jack cheese, sliced
  • 4 cups baby arugula

For the Short Ribs

1. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Melt butter in large wide pot over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook beef until browned, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to large rimmed baking sheet.

2. Add celery, carrots, and onion to pot and sauté until beginning to soften and brown, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add wine, broth, Sherry, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme sprig; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Season with salt and pepper. Return ribs to pot, propping up on sides and arranging in single layer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 hour.

3. Using tongs, turn ribs over in pot. Cover and simmer until ribs are tender and sauce is very thick, occasionally rearranging ribs in pot to prevent sticking, about 1 1/2 hours longer. Uncover and cool 30 minutes.

4. Transfer ribs to work surface. Discard bay leaves and thyme sprig. Spoon off fat from sauce in pot. Remove meat from bones; discard bones. Cut meat into 3/4- to 1-inch pieces, trimming any fat. Return meat to pot.

* Can be made 2 days ahead. Chill until cold; cover and keep chilled. Rewarm just until lukewarm before using.

Pickled Caramelized Onions

1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar and cook until almost all vinegar is absorbed, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to microwave-safe bowl; cool.

* Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill. Microwave in 15-second intervals until lukewarm before using.

Assembly

1. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with waxed paper. Butter 8 bread slices; place 4 slices, buttered side down, on each prepared sheet.

2. Divide short rib mixture among bread slices, about 1/2 cup for each. Divide cheese among sandwiches. Spoon about 1/4 cup onions over each sandwich. Place large handful of arugula atop onions. Top with remaining 8 bread slices. Spread bread with butter.

* Can be prepared 1 hour ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

3. Heat griddle over medium heat. Working in batches, cook sandwiches until bread is golden brown and cheese melts, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to work surface. Cut each in half on diagonal. Transfer to plates and serve.