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September 23, 2013

Apple Grilled Cheese

This apple grilled cheese is an easy way to take a classic sandwich and make it grown up with mustard, caramelized shallots and arugula.

This apple grilled cheese is an easy way to take a classic sandwich and make it grown up with mustard, caramelized shallots and arugula.

Apple Grilled Cheese
Apples have taken over the farmer’s market officially signaling that fall is here to stay.

And I am excited.

Bring on the apples, pumpkins and everything autumn! 

The farm stands have helpful laminated cards tucked into each of the apple bins explaining the story of their varieties.

The descriptions include recommendations on how they should be used whether eaten fresh, pureed into applesauce or baked into a pie.

Cortland apples are a favorite of mine because of their tart crispness and their slow to brown snow white flesh.

Plus they add the perfect crunchy juiciness to salads.

But sometimes I think apples are best eaten whole as a healthy afternoon snack, slathered with peanut butter.

A Fancy Fall Sandwich

Grilled cheese is one of my no-fuss, go-to bites to eat.

And cheese and apples are a natural pair.

I could devour slices of cheddar stacked on apple slices.

But I ended up going for an elevated grilled cheese.

How To Make An Apple Grilled Cheese

I wanted my sandwich to have more than just apples and cheese, so I sautéed sliced shallots letting them get deep brown and caramelized.

Then I assembled the sandwiches.

First, I spread whole grain mustard on the bread.

After that I stacked on the apples, cheddar, shallots and arugula.

Part of my farmers market trip was finding the right cheddar for my apple grilled cheese.

What I learned is that while aged cheddars have a more complex flavor profile, they lack the moisture needed for a good melt.

I settled on a young cheddar that gave the sandwiches just the right amount of gooeyness to hold all the elements together.

The sandwich was so good. While nothing is wrong with a simple grilled cheese, this classic sandwich can be transformed in so many different ways depending on the ingredients and the season.

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Apple Grilled Cheese

Apple Grilled Cheese

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 sandwiches 1x

This apple grilled cheese is an easy way to take a classic sandwich and make it grown up with mustard, caramelized shallots and arugula.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 shallots, peeled, trimmed and sliced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 slices country bread

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

3/41 cup  young mild cheddar, thinly sliced

1 tart and crisp apple, cored and thinly sliced

1 handful baby arugula or spinach

12 tablespoons butter at room temperature

Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the shallots, salt and pepper and cook stirring occasionally for 12-15 minutes until the shallots have browned and caramelized. (If the shallots are drying out or starting to burn, add a little water and reduce the heat.)

To assemble the sandwiches, spread one side of the bread with whole grain mustard. Arrange the cheddar, apples, arugula and shallots on two of the bread slices and top with the remaining bread. Lightly butter the outside of the sandwiches.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet or griddle over low to medium heat and add the sandwiches. Cook until the bread has browned and the cheese has started to melt. Flip continue cooking until the bread is golden brown and the cheese has fully melted. (Cooking low and slow is best–be patient!) Serve immediately.

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