We’ve got rain. Well, a little anyway. We started out the season ahead of the numbers but Mother Nature rested on her laurels and fell behind. It’s been such a dry season…
So when the wind’s howling announced the rain’s arrival last night, my husband quickly prepared a fire as if to welcome a much-missed friend. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that he sticks around for a while.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, I prepared my own kind of welcome. I reheated what was left of the batch of lentil soup I prepared this weekend. We’ve enjoyed it for days and it’s just developed more flavor over time. I’ll share the recipe with you on the next post. For now here’s what rounded out the hearty meal last night.
I recreated a grilled cheese sandwich I enjoyed so much this weekend. Sometimes the cravings can get quite strong (for me anyway) and one never fails to satisfy. If I ever got into the habit of eating breakfast regularly, I’d be the girl who would turn down a tall stack of pancakes for a plate of toast with cheese. As much as I like sweets, I’ll always be a savory girl at heart. When cheese and bread are grilled together, I tend to keep it simple by just adding fresh tomato slices sprinkled with salt and pepper (and sometimes granulated garlic).
But other days call for something a bit more special. I had an open jar of fig butter and a bag of fresh baby arugula in the refrigerator. Upon seeing them I knew they’d go perfectly with the block of Irish cheddar I planned to use. I grilled the sandwich the way I normally do, on my grill pan and weighted with a cast iron skillet to create those beautiful, appetizing grill marks. I added the arugula tossed in fresh lemon juice and olive oil at the end.
Sweet, salty and peppery never tasted so good together. As we took the first bites of our dinner in front of the fire last night the rain started to fall. As we listened to the rain drops in my mind I said, “Stay awhile, old friend. We’ve missed you.”
- You don’t have to use fig butter for this. Fig jam or any berry jam would work well, too.
- My cheese was still too cold and didn’t melt quickly so I covered the sandwich with my skillet part of the time as it grilled to speed up the melting process. Alternatively, you can pop the sandwich (or just the cheese) in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it before you put it on the grill.
- I prefer to use olive oil instead of butter for my grilled cheese sandwiches.
- There are no exact measurements here. Adjust the list of ingredients according to the number people being served and how much you want to use of each.
- Cheddar cheese, sliced (I used Irish cheddar)
- Fig butter (I used the Trader Joe's brand but feel free to use fig or any other type of jam)
- Bread slices (I used my favorite sliced bread: Beckmann's Three Seed Sourdough)
- Baby arugula tossed in a little fresh lemon juice and olive oil
- More olive oil for brushing bread (or cooking spray)
- Use a heavy-bottomed skillet for this. I like to use my grill pan because of the pretty grill marks it creates. Preheat.
- Spread the fig butter on one of the bread slices, layer with cheese and top with the other slice of bread. Brush the outsides of the bread and place in the preheated pan. Grill over medium-high heat. Place another heavy pan (I used a cast iron skillet) on top of the sandwich and cook for 3-4 minutes on one side. Flip it over and do the same for the other side until the cheese has melted.
- Take the sandwich off the heat, add the the arugula tossed in lemon dressing and slice. Serve warm.