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[Photograph: Sara Remington]

Okay. Grilled cheese is not the kind of dish that really needs a recipe. Bread, cheese, butter, plus a moderately hot pan, and dinner is served, right? Sure, these steps will lead to a tasty sandwich, but it is easy to get into a grilled cheese rut without the proper inspiration. Enter the Grilled MILKimcheeze from Lauryn Chun's Kimchi Cookbook. Nothing more than a standard gooey warm sandwich, except for the generous application of napa cabbage kimchi. Not only does the kimchi add welcome crunch to the melty cheese, but its spicy funk adds an addictive layer of flavor to the lunchtime favorite.

Why I picked this recipe: For ease of preparation and scale of sheer deliciousness, not much beats a grilled cheese. A couple spoonfuls of spicy kimchi stuffed inside? All the better.

What worked: Kimchi and cheese may sound like a strange combination, but they totally work; the mild creaminess of the cheese counterbalances the crunch and spice of the cabbage, making each bite exciting.

What didn't: Since there was only cheese on one side, the sandwich doesn't hold together well. Next time I'd grate the cheese (for better melting), and sandwich the kimchi in between two layers of cheese.

Suggested tweaks: If you wanted to get real crazy, you could add a few slices of deli ham or turkey to the sandwich. Thinly sliced apple would also be nice.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Kimchi Cookbook to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer out of Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, Berkeleyside NOSH, and blogs at cookingwolves.wordpress.com.

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