Grilled Cheese and Jam

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Grilled cheese is one of those amazing foods that appeals to kids as much as adults and has endless combinations:  eat it open faced, sandwiched with veggies or bacon, any type of cheese, endless bread options — really any way you like it.  I am currently hooked on goat cheese and cinnamon raisin bread.  I’d love to hear your favorite combo! -Maggie

Grilled cheese is my life. Or it was from the ages of two through 12.  Back then I would happily have eaten a grilled cheese with a glass of  milk for lunch every single day. If that meal was then followed by a  Today’s Special marathon (especially if it included the Muffy gets her  tonsils out episode ) and  an hour or two of Barbie doll accessory organization then I was the  happiest kid on the block.

Unfortunately, it seems my mini-diva self wasn’t very kind to my  sandwich chef, aka grandma. I don’t recall how the habit began, but at  some point I routinely started telling her in a sing-song voice, “If  you burn it, you’ll eat it!”  At the time, I thought this was  absolutely hysterical and now sounds utterly horrifying and  beyond rude.

Could I have been more unkind to grandma? Especially considering that my  grandmother always grilled my white Wonder Bread and orange Kraft  Singles into perfect, toasty brown submission before cutting the gooey  mess into nine neat and tidy squares. The squares were very important to  the whole grilled cheese process. I would methodically eat the outer  toasted ring and save the middle crustless piece (the crown jewel, in my opinion) for last. Sometimes I still do this. But not for this  recipe.

The catalyst for seeking out this fresh take on grown-up  grilled cheese sprung from a jar of Plenty Spicy Jalapeño Inna Jam    that I was gifted for pitching in on their  Kickstarter campaign.

Oh man. That stuff is amazing.

I’ve also recently been eating my weight  in strawberries, but that’s really only a coincidence. My  brain definitely did not make the leap from pepper jelly to  strawberries nor would it ever without the aid of Google. So thanks to the search engine for pointing me to the following recipe which incorporates things that  made me raise my eyebrows in disbelief, but which actually taste like  someone smashed summer on my sandwich.

You absolutely have to try  this. I’ll be flying home to Maine next month and I definitely will be  making one of these for my much deserving grandmother and I sincerely  hope that she admonishes me with the same “if you burn it, you’ll eat  it” mantra that I used on her for so many years.

Goat Cheese and Strawberry Grilled Cheese

Originally published in Southern Living

Erin’s Note: This goes completely against the traditional method of  making grilled cheese, but in the interest of aesthetics and because  there is such a large amount of ingredient layers in this recipe, I  recommend grilling your bread separately, then assembling the  sandwiches, but it’s totally up to you.

Makes: 3 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 1 (4-oz.) goat cheese log, softened
  • 6 whole grain bread slices
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons pepper jelly
  • 3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh watercress or arugula
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Spread goat cheese on 1 side of 3 bread slices.
  2. Spread pepper jelly on 1 side of remaining bread slices; layer with strawberries, basil leaves, and watercress. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Top with remaining bread, goat cheese sides down.
  4. Cook sandwiches in a large, lightly greased nonstick skillet over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
All photos styled and taken by Erin Nichols.

Eat Boutique was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic StudioFollow Maggie Battista on Instagram.

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