December 23, 2010

Grown Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup

Tomato soup and grilled cheese is such a classic pairing; universally adored by many...including my brood. When I found this version on the Aggie's Kitchen website, I knew it would be a hit with my family. This was a super-comforting meal for a chilly, rainy evening.

Grown Up Grilled Cheese
Adapted From: Aggie's Kitchen website

6 slices of whole wheat bread
3 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined and diced
2-4 thick slices of reduced fat mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of reduced fat Monterrey jack cheese
salt to taste
cooking spray

Heat nonstick skillet over medium high heat and coat with olive oil. Saute sliced onions and jalapeno in the skillet with a big pinch of salt, until onions are caramelized. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Place some shredded jack cheese and a mozzarella slice on 1 slice bread. Spread 1 or 2 tablespoons of caramelized onions and jalapeno mixture on top of cheese and top with another slice of bread. Spread a very thin layer of butter on both outer sides of sandwich. Repeat with other sandwiches.

Spray the same nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat until hot. Place sandwich on the hot pan. Lower heat to medium-low and grill until underside is a deep brown but not burnt and cheese is partially melted, about 5 to 6 minutes. Carefully flip sandwich and grill other side, an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Slice in half and serve hot. Serve with a bowl of tomato soup (recipe below).


Tomato Soup
From:, The Martha Stewart Show, January 2008

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
24 ounces canned whole plum tomatoes
3 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh basil, for garnish (optional)

1.Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until onions have softened, about 15 minutes.

2.Add tomatoes, chicken stock, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until tomatoes, onions, and garlic are soft, 10 to 20 minutes.

3.Working in batches, transfer soup to the jar of a blender and puree until smooth. Return to saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until soup is heated through. If soup seems too thick, stir in some extra stock to thin. Sprinkle some chopped fresh basil on top and serve immediately.

The Result:
I know I am on a Martha Stewart kick lately, but her recipes are really working out for me. Although, I did inadvertently come to this Martha recipe through Aggie's Kitchen; so it was quite an unintentional find. Anyway, both soup and sandwich were fantastic.

Sadly, I did burn our sandwiches (as you can tell from my photo). While I was using my immersion blender to puree the soup, I kinda forgot about the sandwiches cooking right next to me. Oops! They were definitely a little more toasty than I would have liked; but it really didn't matter, they still turned out great.

I didn't have cheddar cheese on hand, so I made due with what I had and used the jack and mozzarella. I was also quite surprised that these sammies were not spicy, despite the use of jalapenos. The pepper just gave the sandwich a little bit of an interesting tid-bit, but no real heat. We all LOVED this combo and it will be one that I make again.

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