Welcome to the April Foodie Extravaganza!
Where we all share delicious recipes with the same main ingredient. This month the theme is Grilled Cheese! We have an awesome variety of cheesy, melty goodness to share with you. If you would like to participate in the next Foodie Extravaganza, just go to the Facebook page to join. We would love to have you! Shout out to Lauren of From Gate to Plate for hosting! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Grilled cheese. Oh, when I found out that this month’s challenge was grilled cheese the gears in my head started tuuuurrning. So many cheeses…so many possibilities…
Now I must admit that I’m a bit confused at the line where a grilled cheese sandwich ends and a toasted sandwich or panini begins. I mean, if you’ve got a sandwich with cheese and ham and turkey and this and that, can you really call it a grilled cheese? Or is it just a toasted sandwich? Why or why not? Deep thoughts, people. Deep thoughts.
So, in honor of my confusion, I’m keeping it simple…ish. We’re keeping the insides simple – just some cheese, maybe a little mustard (or you can be a rebel like I was and throw in a few slices of coppa. *nudgenudge*DOIT*nudgenudge). The bread, though. That part we’re kicking up a notch by using French toast. Add a tangy balsamic berry compote on the side, and you’ve got yourself the perfect savory-sweet hybrid sandwich breakfast thingie. In scientific terms, that is.
I used different cooking techniques when I was playing around with this recipe, and the hubs and I can’t agree on which technique should be the winner. His favorite cooks the French toast and “grilled cheese” parts at the same time and produces a soft sandwich that more closely resembles a cheese stuffed French Toast. My favorite method cooks the French toast and grilled cheese separately and produces the crisp outer bread that I love about grilled cheese sandwiches but still maintains the moist, soft interior of French toast. This version would be perfect for using up leftover French toast. You know, if that ever happened. Does that ever happen?
Either way you like your french-toasty bread, the insides are filled with ooey, gooey, melty cheese – brie, swiss and mozzarella, to be exact. Super creamy and just savory enough to offset the slightly sweet French toast. If you’d like a bit more salt, try it with the coppa (doitdoitdoit). Just a couple slices add’s just the right amount of salty-savoriness that makes this sandwich pair so well with the tangy-sweet compote. Oh, you thought I forgot about that part? Well, the sandwich doesn’t need it, but it’s definitely happier with it. 😉
French Toast Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Berry Compote Prep time 5 mins Cook time 15 mins Total time 20 mins Author: Joy @ The Joyful Foodie Serves: 2 sandwiches
Ingredients For the sandwiches:
- 4 slices bread of choice*
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 Tbs honey
- 1 lb total swiss, mozzarella and triple cream brie
- 1-2 Tbs butter for cooking
- dijon mustard to taste
- a few slices cured meat such as coppa (optional)
For the compote:
- 2 cups mixed berries
- 4 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbs honey (optional, you can omit this if your berries are very sweet)
- 2 Tbs water
Instructions For the compote:
- Place the berries, vinegar and honey (if using) in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Cook while stirring for 10-15 minutes or until berries and their juices are reduced.
For the sandwiches:
- In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk and honey. Whisk well then transfer to a pie plate or shallow dish.
- Heat 1 Tbs butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
- Dip two slices of bread into the egg mixture, coating both sides.
Technique 1, for a softer sandwich:
- Place dipped bread into preheated skilled and cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
- Flip one slice of bread over spread cooked side with a bit of mustard and pile with half the cheese (and meat, if using)
- Place the second slice of bread, cooked side down, on top of the cheese.
- Cook until the bottom slice is browned, 2-3 minutes, then flip sandwich.
- Cook until browned, another 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and enjoy with the fruit compote.
Technique 2, for a crisp sandwich with soft center:
- Place the dipped bread in the skillet and cook until browned, 2-3 minutes per side.
- Remove French toast from skillet and allow to cool a few minutes (you can prepare the compote at this time)
- Reheat the skillet and add the cooled French toast.
- Heat slices for 1-2 minutes on one side then flip one slice.
- Spread the toasted side with mustard and pile with half the cheese (and meat if using). Place the second slice, toasted side down on top of the cheese.
- Toast sandwich for 2-3 minutes per side or until browned and crispy.
- Remove from skillet and enjoy with fruit compote.
Notes * Gluten Free bread works fine.
So, help me out here. Where do you draw the line between a grilled cheese and a toasted sandwich that also happens to have lots of cheese?
Before you go, check out the rest of the grilled cheesy awesomeness that the bloggers of Foodie Extravaganza have for you!
- Bacon Apple Mascarpone Grilled Cheese from Lauren at Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Caramelized Onion Bacon Grilled Cheese from Rebekah at Making Miracles
- Chicken Bacon and Avocado Grilled Cheese from Jacklyn at Mrs. Penguin
- Chicken Cordon Bleu Grilled Cheese from Marissa at Rae Gun Ramblings
- Crusty Griddle Baked Quesadillas with Poblano Rajas from Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm
- French Toast Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Berry Compote from Joy at The Joyful Foodie
- Grilled Cheese in the Garden from Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Spinach from Tara at Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Ham, Apple and Sharp Cheddar Grilled Cheese from Carlee at Cooking With Carlee
- Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese from Lauren at From Gate to Plate
- Muffuletta Grilled Cheese from Stacy at Food Lust People Love
- Southern Grilled Cheese from Teri at The Freshman Cook
- Spicy Pear Grilled Cheese from Kelly at Passion Kneaded
- Open Faced Italian Grilled Cheese from Kathleen at Fearlessly Creative Mammas
Check out previous #FoodieExtravaganza posts!