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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Honoring My Favorite, The Grilled Cheese

By Sherrie Norris

April is National Grilled Cheese Month, along with pretzel month, pecan month, fresh Florida tomato month — and the list goes on. Yes, folks, it’s true. Many months and days of the year are dedicated to our favorite treats.

Sorry, I missed telling you about April 2 — it was National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. We still have time to celebrate National Oatmeal Cookie Day on April 30, but we have to share it with Raisin Day and Mr. Potato Head Day. I couldn’t make this up!

For the moment, it’s all about my all-time favorite.

Just in case you haven’t looked too far outside the plastic wrapper, grilled cheese can be as simple or elegant as you want to make it.

Usually two pieces of bread fried in butter (or Olive oil), with yummy cheese melting in the middle is all it takes

There are numerous variations to preparing the perfect grilled cheese; adding the tag “sandwich” to the phrase is irrelevant. It easily stands on its own.

While American cheese is thought to be the most commonly used star of the show, other selections such as Cheddar, Gouda, Velveeta and Swiss rank toward the top.

Condiments? Well, my husband prefers mayonnaise applied before it’s smacked together and thrown into the pan. I like adding a slice of tomato, too.

I also know people who add bacon, ham and/or pickles to the inside for a little more excitement.

My favorite grilled cheese partner? Tomato soup, hands down.

It is well known in my family that it’s my favorite meal —and was front and center for my recent birthday celebration. I couldn’t have been more pleased!

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to come up with variations, but I’ve discovered a few ideas for your next grilled cheese party. Make it quick, the month is almost over! (You know, I’m kidding. A grilled cheese is amazing anytime!)


Bacon and Tomato Grilled Cheese

2 pieces bread of choice (thicker might be better)

2 slices Cheddar cheese

1-2 slices Swiss cheese

2 pieces crisp bacon

2 slices tomato

1 Tbs. butter

Spread butter on one side of each piece of bread, placing one piece, buttered side down, in frying pan. Top with cheddar, bacon, Swiss, tomato and remaining bread.

Cook over medium heat for just a few minutes until golden brown, flipping to other side for same result..


Italian Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

¼ cup butter

1/8 tsp. garlic powder (optional)

12 slices white bread

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 (8 oz.) pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese

1 (24 oz.) jar marinara sauce

Preheat oven broiler. Place 6 slices of bread on a baking sheet. Lightly spread mozzarella cheese over each slice. Top with remaining bread.

Mix together the butter and garlic powder; brush a little bit over the tops of the sandwiches, or spread with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with dried oregano.

Place pan under broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown. Remove pan; flip sandwiches and brush other side with butter; sprinkle with oregano. Return to broiler for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with marinara sauce on the side as a dip.


Apple Pie Grilled Cheese Sandwich

1 Tbs. butter

1 Tbs. brown sugar

1 dash cinnamon

1 apple, peeled, cored and sliced

2 thick slices Cheddar cheese

2 bread slices

1 Tbs. butter

Melt butter in a non-stick pan. Add sugar and cinnamon; heat until bubbly. Add apples and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Assemble sandwich and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 2-4 minutes per side.