Grilled cheese is one of my earliest cooking memories. As a child I would stay at my grandparents’ house a good part of the summer. My grandmother and I would make “toasted cheese sandwiches” on a regular basis. Nana, as I called her, had a grilled cheese maker that she used all the time. This appliance was a 1970s version of the panini maker. I distinctly remember pressing the metal cover down so the sandwiches would get nice and toasty. In the summer, we would slice juicy ripe Jersey tomatoes and put them in the middle of the sandwiches. There were always plenty of dill pickles to go on the side. This was summer comfort food at its best.
Now that I have children of my own , grilled cheese sandwiches are still a favorite in my household. My 11-year-old son can be a picky eater, but he would never refuse a grilled cheese sandwich. If he has to be at an early-evening baseball or soccer practice, grilled cheese is the dinner of champions. It’s easy, it’s quick and I don’t mind eating one for dinner myself.
With April being National Grilled Cheese month, I was thrilled to be asked to create a recipe for Kitchen PLAY’s “30 Days of Grilled Cheese” event, sponsored by Land O Lakes® Deli Cheese. I am one of 30 bloggers publishing an original recipe featuring Land O Lakes® 4 Cheese Italian Blend or Land O Lakes® Deli American Cheese on my blog starting on April 1.
I decided to put together the flavors of a pepperoni pizza in a grilled cheese sandwich. The creamy Land O Lakes® 4 Cheese Italian Blend and Deli American Cheese are the stars of the show, but pepperoni gives the sandwich extra pizazz while a light cornmeal Parmesan dusting on the bread gives some extra crunch. Sauce is served on the side as I didn’t want the sandwich to get soggy if it was spread on the bread. It is the perfect accompaniment to dip in. Most importantly, Texas toast bread is used. Thick pieces of bread make this sandwich hearty. Big flavors deserve a sturdy piece of bread.
Land O Lakes® Deli Cheese makes a great grilled cheese sandwich, but my family also loves it on burgers, hoagies and crackers. I have caught my kids red-handed many times with cheese in their hands right out of the refrigerator. In fact, their favorite way to eat this cheese might be plain. And they always want as much as they can get.
Another big thing is happening during National Grilled Cheese month. From April 1st through May 1st, Land O’Lakes will donate $1 to Feeding America every time someone pins or repins a Land O’Lakes recipe on Pinterest. Eight meals will go to a hungry family when you pin a recipe—and eight more every time someone else repins it. So find your favorite grilled cheese recipe to pin on landolakes.com.
Pepperoni Pizza Grilled Cheese is my new favorite grilled cheese sandwich, but I know it could change this month when I see all the other creations. There are so many possibilities for a grilled cheese sandwich. What is your favorite?
- 8 slices Texas toast (extra thick white bread)
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 8 (1/2-ounce) slices Land O lakes 4 Cheese Italian Blend
- 8 (1/2-ounce) slices Land O Lakes Deli American Cheese
- 12 slices thin pepperoni
- 1 ½ TBS corn meal
- 1 ½ TBS Parmesan cheese
- Oil for greasing
- 1 TBS dried Italian seasoning
- 1 cup marinara or pizza sauce
- Spread butter on 1 side of each slice of bread with butter. Layer 4 slices bread, buttered-side down, with 2 slices of Italian Blend cheese and 2 slices of Deli American Cheese. Top with 3 slices of pepperoni and remaining bread, buttered-side up.
- In a small bowl, mix together corn meal and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the mixture on the buttered bread and press down so the corn meal mixture sticks to the bread.
- Grease a large skillet or griddle and bring to medium heat. Place sandwiches (as many that can fit) onto skillet. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until sandwiches are golden brown and cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.
- Sprinkle sandwiches with Italian seasoning. Serve with sauce.