Saturday, June 4, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen... I'm a cook.

Jon:  Well it's about time I worked my way into the prime spot of this blog.  I've been hanging out at the bottom of this page for far too long.  So now it's time to simplify this post - or dumb it down, depending on your perspective.  For those of you out there (like me) who lack the skills, patience or intelligence to cook a recipe with more than four ingredients, I hope this post is encouraging, enlightening, helpful, or at least makes you hungry.

Bacon, avocado, smoked Gouda,
tomato, sourdough grilled cheese...
You are my best friend.
Could there possibly be a more classic American meal than the grilled cheese sandwich?  It's easy, it's tasty, and almost everyone digs it.  All that you really need are two pieces of bread and a slice of cheese.  But one great thing about a grilled cheese is that it can be "full-bodied" too, with almost infinite variety.  The bread can be wheat, white, sourdough, rye, oat... the cheese can be Swiss, provolone, Gouda, pepper jack, cheddar, mozzarella... the toppings can be onions, mushrooms, bacon, avocado, tomatoes, garlic... the flavoring can be balsamic vinegar, pesto, spicy mustard, barbecue sauce, bacon jam... the possibilities seem to go on forever. Diversity is a good thing in this world, and diversity in the world of grilled cheese is no exception.

Yet another use for bacon jam.

My cooking skills have always fallen far short of my eating skills.  As a guy who likes to spend minimal time making food and maximum time consuming it, the quesadilla has become another staple item in my limited repertoire.  Like a grilled cheese, a quesadilla can range from a Pinto to a Cadillac.  The bare bones of just a tortilla and shredded cheese is great, but so is a loaded one with ham, onions, Monterey Jack, green chilies, brown rice, black beans, and whatever else you can fit in there.  A quesadilla is actually an excellent way to clean out your fridge.  I bet most of you reading this right now have the ingredients in your fridge for a ridiculous quesadilla even though you don't even know it.

So here is my attempt to write a recipe.  I've never done this before, but I can probably figure it out...

Heady Grilled Cheese
Makes 1 sandwich
  • 2 pieces of sourdough bread
  • several slices of smoked Gouda
  • a pile of cooked bacon
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tomato
  • butter
  • beer
Open a beer and begin drinking it (cooking without alcohol is dangerous).  Butter up one side of each piece of bread.  Smother the other side with cheese, vegetables, meat, condiments, and whatever else you want to put on there.  Put it on a medium-hot skillet.  Keep drinking your beer.  Carefully flip your grilled cheese to brown both sides perfectly.  Remove from the skillet and eat it.

Dank Quesadilla
Makes 1 quesadilla
  • 2 tortillas, white or whole wheat
  • 1 handful shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • bacon jam
  • garlic salt
  • olive oil
  • My Sous-Chef
  • beer
Open a beer.  Heat up some olive oil in your skillet.  Load up your quesadilla with tons of wondrous edibles and grill it.  Be sure to pour some olive oil on the top before you flip it back over.  Remove from heat, slice it into triangles or whatever crazy shapes you like to eat, then eat it.

Note:  I highly recommend sautéeing onions and mushrooms in balsamic vinegar and trying that instead of the avocado and bacon.  Rice and black beans are a nice addition, too.  Or you can go the pizza-quesadilla route and use pepperoni, tomato sauce and mozzarella.
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Hethyr:  It's about time I get to slack at the bottom of the page!  I've been doing all of the work for far too long.  It's high time that he cooks and I dish it out.  =)

Thank goodness for almost infinite variety when it comes to grilled cheese and quesadillas, because we eat at least one of these meals at least once a week. When I get busy with clients and cook for 10-12 hours a day, day after day, it's almost too much to think about making dinner for us when I get home.  Here's where Jon's mad grilled cheese- and quesadilla-making skills come in handy. He is the master of creativity with these hand-held meals.  On a side note, he also makes incredible breakfasts.  I enlist his help there as often as I can.

He's been talking about doing this blog post for about three weeks now and I've been pushing him to do it, but he didn't "have the perfect ingredients" for the "perfect grilled cheese" until this week.  I had no idea that there was such a thing, but I'll be damned if this didn't turn out to be the perfect sandwich.  Sourdough toasts up so nicely, smoked Gouda is one of my favorite cheeses on Earth, bacon is heavenly and avocado is pure, creamy goodness.  I chose to forego the tomatoes on my sandwich, but they sure looked pretty on Jon's.  And beer.  Sweet, sweet beer.  I think I may have to take Jon's advice and start cooking with alcohol... apparently it's dangerous not to and my motto is "safety first!"

I didn't realize that I was going to get a bonus meal with this blog post, but the quesadilla with avocado and bacon jam has been one of my favorites to date.  I didn't realize that I could have had mine cut into shapes, but you can be sure I'll be requesting that next time!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! A “full-bodied” grilled cheese sandwich made by a man! What more could a “full-bodied” woman wish for?!?!
    I need to get hubby (who’s in the best shape of his life) into the kitchen to whip up a wonderful grilled cheese sandwich or a heavenly quesadilla. I’m sure if he reads the ingredient list and the instructions very, very carefully, he’ll be volunteering to make one or the other every day of the week! :-)