I wish Eddie (our black lab) were constipated. And no, that doesn’t make me a horrible person…it makes me a dog owner. A dog owner who for years has felt the pain of walking a dog in freezing cold rain when all I want to do is snuggle up in bed to some rubbish Bravo housewives spinoff. And don’t think I haven’t tried to find a workaround. For a few months after the first winter with him, we tried training the dog to use the toilet, but that didn’t work, because Eddie never put the seat down, slobbered on the newspaper, and forgot to flush.
So after a long day of nearly freezing weather, heavy gusts of wind and torrential downpours….okay fine, that might be a little bit of hyperbole but you get the point, I fantasize about two things: Eddie magically getting constipated until the rain stops, and a piping hot ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwich paired with a bowl of tomato soup.
Unfortunately, Eddie’s as regular as a prune-swallowing teen and he still requires my companionship on our walks because his Tourette’s Syndrome-like behavior means you never know when he’s gonna bolt into traffic for a squirrel, cat, raccoon, or even his own shadow. So that leaves me with one dream being fulfilled…the delicious grilled cheese!
Grilled cheese and apple with tomato cream soup
This grilled cheese is kicked up a notch (sucks that Emeril coined that) because I use pepper jack cheese and counter that little kick of heat from the pepper flakes with some fresh crisp apples slices. The sweet crunch from the apple perfectly compliments the spicy goopy cheese and the creaminess of the soup.
Since fresh tomato soup is a little ambitious for a weeknight, I decided to just use the creamy tomato soup from the buffet at Whole Foods as my Sandra Lee semi-homemade contribution to the meal.
- Slices of multigrain whole wheat sandwich bread (you can use any bread you’d like really)
- 1 tblsp softened unsalted butter
- pepper jack cheese thinly sliced (as much as you’d like)
- ½ apple sliced (per sandwich) into thin wedges
Butter one side of your bread slices with about half a tblsp of the softened butter per slice. Turn your slices of bread over so the buttered side is face down on your work surface.
Place half of your pepper jack slices down on one slice of bread and then top that cheese with a single layer of apple slices (about half an apple per sandwich). It’s okay of the apples slices overlap a little.
Then cover the apple layer with the remaining cheese and the other piece of bread with the buttered side face up.
Place the sandwich in a Panini press or in a non-stick skillet. With the Panini press you can just close the top down and leave the sandwich for 4-5 minutes until the bread is crusty, golden-brown on the outside and the cheese is completely melted, locking the apples into place.
If you’re using a skillet you’ll want to apply some pressure to the sandwich using a spatula or you can use a cast iron grill press and just let that sit on the sandwich for a few minutes on one side, before flipping the sandwich over and pressing it again.
Once the cheese is melted and the bread looks nice and golden (not black) take it off the heat and let it rest for a minute before you cut it in half and serve with your favorite bowl of tomato soup.
- You want to have the cheese touching the bread on both sides of the sandwich or it wont stay together when melted.
- You can stick some slices of turkey meat in between the cheese too.