Dear Friends and Foodies!
Gourmet Girl Gail here writing from windy Santa Barbara. Did you know that April 12 is Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day? Yep! It has its own unofficial holiday, celebrating one of the most popular comfort foods on the planet.
This Philly Voice article points out five establishments where Philadelphians can find some delicious melted goodness on Friday. And I thought Philadelphia was only known for its Philly cheesesteaks, a long, crusty roll filled with thinly sliced sautéed rib-eye beef and melted cheese. Not true!
Maybe you’re planning on being creative and making your own grilled cheese wonderment come Friday! If so, the Gourmet Girls Go Camping Cookbook has an awesome recipe for a gourmet grilled cheese.
A few weeks ago, I was asked by Los Padres ForestWatch to lead a team in their first time competing at the Toad&Co’s Annual Grilled Cheese SMACKDOWN. It was a lot of fun, and we won 4th place!
Here is the line-up of winners.
Best Overall: Guin and Helena – Toad&Co
All That Jazz – UCSB Bren School
Best Solo Act – Ian – Toad&Co
Most Balanced – Los Padres ForestWatch (that’s us!)
People’s choice – Alpha Resource Center
We used three types of cheese (it’s not a day to count calories!): Quebec cheddar, sharp provolone and fontina. We spread tomato jam onto one of the slices of bread, piled on the cheese, and added a slice of Prosciutto cotto, an Italian style ham. The bread we used was from D’Angelo’s Bakery in Santa Barbara. We chose loaves of sourdough with Kalamata olives and put lots of butter on the outside of the bread before placing the sandwich in the panini press. Once the cheese was melted, we took the sandwich out of the press and let it sit for a few seconds before opening it up and adding avocado and arugula. Voila!
“What do you think? Is it done yet?” I asked my friend Ellen who came on as sous chef.
We were the first ones to share our creation with the judges. Then we went on to make several more sandwiches that we handed out to the crowd.
The Organic Soup Kitchen was on hand serving up bowls of delicious tomato soup. I think grilled cheese and tomato soup must be one of the most iconic duos in the history of food!
Where will you be getting your grilled cheese on this coming Friday? Let us know in the comments here. Better yet, send us your favorite grilled cheese sandwich recipe to firstname.lastname@example.org! We’ll consider it for next year’s smackdown!
Gail, Denise and Lindsey