Snow days. I consider them a gift from Mother Nature. She’s handing us a free pass to stay home from work or school. I act as if I am on vacation. I read, watch movies, call friends I haven’t talked to for a long time (yes, I actually call them – no texting). When I’m feeling the call of the kitchen, I love to cook comfort food.
The most recent snow day catches me off guard. My pantry is almost empty. The only things I see are sun dried tomatoes, olives, sliced turkey, bread and cheese. Perfect. I know just what to do with this to make my taste buds tingle. I’m going to whip up the universally loved grilled cheese sandwich – with a gourmet twist. This variation never fails to delight my friends and family. It’s quick and easy to make, and now I am going to share it with you.
This is what you will need: mild cheddar cheese slices, sliced deli turkey, sourdough bread, butter, sliced black olives, sun dried tomatoes (sliced into thin strips), dried basil, dried oregano and pepper. Your cooking tools are a basting brush, large pan, small sauce pan, butter knife and spatula.
Let’s start making your perfect grilled cheese sandwich.
Step 1: Melt your butter in the small sauce pan and your large cooking pan. The amount you need depends on how many sandwiches you are making. You need enough to baste all four sides of two slices of bread for each sandwich and an additional amount to melt in the pan you will use to cook them in. An approximate amount is 2 teaspoons per sandwich.
Step 2: Put your bread in the pan under medium heat with the melted butter and baste both sides. Flip the bread over and baste again after 1 minute of cooking. Repeat this step until one of the sides becomes slightly browned and crispy. This process usually takes about 2 – 2 1/2 minutes.
Step 3: Place 1 or 2 slices of turkey on the side that is golden and slightly crispy. Put 1 or 2 slices of cheese on top of the turkey. Add 1 tablespoon of olive slices and about 8 slices of the sun dried tomatoes. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon of basil on top of the turkey and cheese. Sprinkle with pepper. Place the other slide of bread on top.
Step 4: Use the spatula to press down on the sandwich so that the cheese melts more quickly. The cheese should be sufficiently melted after about 2 minutes. Garnish with olive slices. you can even make a smiley face out of them if you want to give your kids a laugh.
Step 5: Turn on your favorite music, grab a plate and sit in front of a window to watch the snow come down.
Enjoy, friends. Happy snow day to you.
*All images © 2015 Gina Genis