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.
Reprinted with permission from The Kimchi Cookbook: 60 Traditional and Modern Ways to Make and Eat Kimchi by Lauryn Chun, copyright 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- Yield:serves 4
- Active time: 10 minutes
- Total time:10 minutes
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices country-style bread
- 16 ounces cheese, such as Havarti, Monterey jack, or Swiss, sliced thick
- 1 cup any napa cabbage kimchi, coarsely chopped
Heat a griddle or a large skillet over medium-low heat.
Butter the slices of bread on one side and place them on the skillet, butter side down (you may need to do this in batches). Distribute the cheese evenly on half of the bread slices and cook until slightly melted. Place the kimchi on top of the cheese, top with the remaining toasty bread slices, and cook for 1 minute more, or until the cheese is completely melted and the bread is toasted golden brown. Using a spatula, gently flip the sandwich and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from the pan and cut each sandwich in half for easier handling. If working in batches, repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve hot.