Italian Grilled Cheese Sammy
One of The Most Go-To college student foods is grilled cheese sandwiches. All you really need is to slices of bread, butter or margarine and cheese. But what about kicking it up a notch? Or 47? How about adding a roasted red pepper, provolone cheese, smoked Gouda cheese, sopressata salami and Italian dry salami? How about making a ricotta cheese and basil pesto spread? How about crusting the bread with finely grated parmesan cheese? Any college student or "townie" can make this very filling "sammy" and fully enjoy amazing textures and flavors reminiscent of Italy.
Here is my starting line-up:
For the spread
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 -3 tablespoons basil pesto
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or grated
Meat and Cheeses
Sliced Smoked Gouda
Italian Dry Salami
For the Sammy
Large slices of your favorite bread (I use Sourdough)
1 large sweet red pepper, roasted, steamed, peeled, ribbed and seeded and sliced into strips
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 - 1 stick of butter or margarine
Spread the ricotta-pesto-cheese mixture to the slices of bread, add some slices of the roasted red pepper to one side, the provolone to the other. Arrange the cheeses as needed to cover the entire surface area of the bread. I my case, breaking them into half moon shapes worked great. Arrange the meats atop the cheeses to your liking. Place one slice atop the other and thoroughly butter one side. Add two or three tablespoons of parmesan cheese to the buttered side and press it down. Place a skillet or grill pan or grill plate over medium-high heat. When quite hot, place the sammy buttered-side down. Reduce the heat to medium. Butter the top side now, adding another couple of tablespoons of pressed in parmesan. Check after about four minutes to make sure the bread is golden brown. The aroma of the parm, butter and bread and the melting cheese ought to be incredible about now. When the bread is crispy and golden, carefully flip over the sammy. Follow the above directions. Remove the sammy when done, allow it to rest for a few scant minutes, IF you can! Cut at an angle, arrange nicely, add some rich fruit or a green salad to your plate, and fully enjoy a savory, sweet, rich and aromatic experience!
Tip: If you cannot use butter or margarine, or if you do not have enough of one of those, add some mayonnaise to the butter/margarine.