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Grilled cheese- simple bread, butter, and American cheese- is an easy meal that has been a long time favorite in the U.S. So loved, in fact, that some restaurants, like The Pop Shop in Collingswood, New Jersey, created over thirty varieties of the meal to satisfy all types of customers. Their inspiring dedication to new dishes has sparked some favorite new grilled cheese varieties that consumers are trying at home.
One way to spice up these dishes is to add your favorite type of meat. From pepperoni to turkey, or even the spicy buffalo chicken adds a unique flavor to the original melted cheese. For example, the Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese adds barbequed pulled pork, caramelized onions, and sharp cheddar on Texas toast.
The Bavaria, a feature of the Grilled Cheese Academy, places Wisconsin Edam cheese, beer-fried knackwurst, potatoes, and sauerkraut, complete with rye bread. The Pizza Grilled Cheese and the Chicken Parmesan Grilled Cheese both add the melted cheese spin to classic dinner dishes.
If you prefer vegetables or fruits, try adding greens instead of (or in addition to!) the meats. This makes a healthier meal with more flavor than the traditional recipe. The Harvest Grilled Cheese, from The Grilled Cheese Truck, involves sautéed leeks, butternut squash, and agave syrups on traditional American cheese.
Martha Stewart’s Grilled Cheese and Apple Sandwich adds layers of apples to cheddar cheese for a sweet taste and an easy serving of fruit. The Tarragon Vegetable Grilled Cheese, created by Karen Kadlec on myrecipes.com, includes zucchini, onion, mushrooms, and chopped tarragon with sharp cheddar and jack cheese on sourdough bread.
Creating a variation of grilled cheese may also just be as simple as changing the bread or the cheese. Using Swiss Cheese gives the grilled cheese a milder taste and a healthier calorie content. The classic cheddar cheese served on a fresh baked roll, something like a French bread pizza, can be much more filling than white bread. Whole grain bread or reduced calorie bread are some healthier options, too.
The ultimate favorite I have found so far comes from the Grilled Cheese Academy. The Cheshire features Edam cheese and Cheddar cheese, bacon, avocadoes, tomatoes, lettuce, and an over-easy egg. Combine all of these variations: meat, cheese, vegetables or fruit, and bread, to make your own new and delightful grilled cheese sandwiches!