Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Cheese

So this is how you make grilled cheese for dinner and still feel like a proper adult: you pack in spicy pepper jack cheese, sweet caramelized onions, and fresh tomato, and pack in between nutty whole wheat bread.
This is another recipe from Ellie Krieger (from The Food You Crave) that highlights her strategy of using full fat ingredients with a high amount of flavor, allowing you to use a smaller portion.  I have really learned a lot about healthful cooking from following her recipes.  The texture of the cheeses on this sandwich is amazing, and by choosing strongly flavored pepper jack and extra-sharp cheddar, you can get away with using a lot less cheese.  The sandwiches still come out at 350 calories each!  I think that I may be passing up that fat-free cheese a little more often!

On a rainy day (and we've had many in the Boston area), try this with Cream of  Roasted Tomato Soup.

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Cheese
adapted from The Food You Crave, by Ellie Krieger
yields 4 sandwiches

about 1 cup caramelized onions (red onions work best)
3 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
8 slices whole wheat bread
2 tsp sambal oelek or other chili-garlic paste (optional, and to taste)
3 oz pepper jack cheese, thinly sliced
1 large beefsteak tomato, sliced
cooking spray

1. Coat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray, and heat over a medium-high burner.
2. Assemble the sandwiches, equally dividing the ingredients.  First, spread a little sambal oelek (if using) on each slice of bread.  Then, equally divide the cheddar cheese.  Follow with 2 Tbsp of caramelized onions, then the pepper jack.  Complete the sandwiches with a slice of tomato each and the remaining bread.
3. Cook two sandwiches at a time, lowering the heat to medium.  Weigh the sandwiches down with a press or a heavy skillet or plate.  Cook for 5-6 minutes on the first side, and flip when the bottoms are brown and crispy and the cheese is beginning to melt.  Cook for an addition 4-5 minutes on the reverse side before removing to a plate.
4. Cover the first two sandwiches with foil to keep warm, and repeat the cooking process with the remaining sandwiches.


  1. If I don't get this book for Christmas,I think I am going to scream. I love each and every recipe you have been posting from there! So yum!

  2. Regular grilled cheese is great...but grilled cheese packed with more complex flavor is even better! Love this!

  3. fab idea, I will be trying this for sure.

  4. Yum! The caramelized onions sound fantastic in grilled cheese.

  5. This looks wonderful! I would most definitely love it.