Grilled Cheese

Philly Cheese Steak Grilled Cheese

Leftovers can be a troublesome thing. The starving artist never knows exactly what to do with them. I'm invested. I've put time, energy, even a little creativity into whipping up something special only to find I made too much for a reclusive, single guy to polish off.  I don't want to just throw them out, but how do you bring new life to something the day after when you're a lazy starving artist? Just reheating doesn't seem right. The remains of good meal – and good times – should be polished off in way that gives new life to those memories. Sort of like remembering old friends. That's where this Philly Cheese Steak Grilled Cheese Sandwich comes in. The rebirth of leftover steak, the discovery of something new, and the rekindling of good times with solid – albeit quirky – friends.

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3-4 slices of white onion
  • 8-10 thin slices of green bell pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  • 1/3 heaping cup of thinly sliced leftover steak
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 Slices of provolone cheese
  • Mayonnaise
  • 2 slices of French bread
  • Butter

Directions

  1. Add the olive oil to a pan over medium heat.
  2. Slice the onion, chop the slices in half, then add to the pan once it's heated.
  3. Once the onions begin to soften (about 5 minutes), add the sliced green pepper and minced garlic, cooking for about two minutes.
  4. Next, add in the sliced steak. Salt and pepper to taste, then c ook until the steak is warm.
  5. Spread a little butter on the outside of each slice of bread, and spread mayonnaise on the inside of both slices. (Yes, I know, mayonnaise is NOT a traditional cheese steak ingredient.)
  6. Place the steak mix on the bread, top with the provolone cheese, and then the other slice of bread.
  7. Place your soon-to-be delicious sandwich in the pan, turn heat to medium, and cook until golden brown on each side.
  8. Cut in half, dig in, and remember the good old days.

Kimchi & Ramen Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Finally, and not a moment too soon, the Starving Artist is off the crutches and headed back to work. Six weeks worth of broken-legged, couch-bound, no-working, no-income life is a difficult way to spend your days. Boredom and hunger set in quickly, and as the wallet thins, creative cooking kicks in. That's how I ended up with this surprisingly delicious cabinet and refrigerator scraping sandwich. Hat tip to Brandon for introducing me to kimchi.

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Ingredients

  • 1 package of instant ramen, any flavor
  • 1 handful of kimchi, chopped and squeezed of excess juice
  • 1 tablespoons oil for cooking (I used grapeseed oil)
  • 2 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 2 thick slices very sturdy bread
  • 1 handful of Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 handful of Cheddar chees 

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat, then drop the ramen noodles in and cook until soft.
  2. Drain the noodles, then put them back into the pot or a bowl. Pour the contents of the seasoning packet over the noodles, then toss the noodles to combine. Set aside while you prepare the sandwich.
  3. Next, heat the oil in a frying pan over low heat. Spread the outside of both slices of bread with softened butter. Place both slices of bread buttered-side down in the oil in the pan. Pile one slice of bread with the Mozzarella cheese, and the other slice with the Cheddar cheese. Cook until the bread is toasted and the cheese has melted.
  4. Finally, remove the grilled bread to a plate or cutting board. Pile as much ramen noodles on one slice of the bread as you’d like, then add the chopped kimchi on top. Close the sandwich with the other slice of grilled bread and cheese. Press together firmly.
  5. Cut in half, and enjoy a delicious sandwich born of desperation.

Leftover Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I'm gonna keep things super simple today. Barbecued brisket. Grilled cheese. Tomato soup. Without comfort food like this, my shrink would have to up my meds and double my visits.

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Ingredients

  • 2 slices of Sourdough bread, cut 1/2" inch thick.
  • 1 thick slice smoked Cheddar
  • 1 thick slice Gruyere
  • 1/2 cup leftover barbecued brisket, shredded
  • Mayonnaise

Directions

  1. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  2. Lay out your bread and spread mayonnaise on one side of both pieces. Turn the bread over and use the un-mayonnaised side to build the sandwich. Layer with the slice of cheddar, load on the shredded brisket, and then top with the Gruyere. Place the other slice of bread on top
  3. Place sandwich in the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the bread is golden, then flip. Cook the other side until equally golden and crispy, the cheese is nicely melted, and you just can’t take the waiting anymore.
  4. Cut in half and serve alongside StudioHotplate's favorite tomato soup for a perfect combo.

Grilled Cheese with Roasted Mushrooms & Onions

The weather this week really harshed my mellow, especially considering it's the first week of November. Overcast, humid, raining, and here's the worst part – the temperature hovered in the mid-80's all week. Where is the cool, brisk air that puts a spring in the Starving Artist's step, boosts his spirits, and kickstarts creativity? It's nowhere to be found, and probably hiding out somewhere with my motivation. I couldn't stir up a creative thought all week, at least until I got hungry last night and realized there was almost nothing in the fridge. Desperation and depression must be the first and second cousins of creativity because they worked hand in hand to inspire this delicious Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Roasted Mushrooms & Onions. Finally, a little creativity! Hopefully it boosts your mood as much as it did mine.

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Notes

  1. The mushrooms and onions can be roasted ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to make a sandwich. To reheat, toss briefly in a skillet.
  2. I used Gouda for this grilled cheese, but Gruyere, Jarlsberg, or Brie would be great as well.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 slices bread
  • 1 cup cheese, shredded

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. On a baking sheet, toss the sliced mushrooms and onion s in olive oil. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt and pepper, then bake for about 20 minutes, or until roasted to your preference.
  3. In a skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
  4. While the butter is melting, assemble your two sandwiches. On one slice of bread, layer the shredded cheese, the roasted mushrooms and onions, then more cheese. Salt and pepper to taste, then top with the other slice of bread. Lightly press together.
  5. Finally, place one sandwich in the skillet for a second or two, then gently flip it over to the other side. Repeat with the other sandwich. Cook for about 2 minutes, until lightly browned, then gently flip each sandwich on the other side, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sandwiches are browned to your preference. Remove from the skillet, cut in half, and dig in.

Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

The first cold front of the year just blew in, or as we Texans call it – 70 degrees. That might not seem too cool to you, but compared to 100 degree September days, it's down right chilly, and has the Starving Artist in a soup kind of mood. Granted, it's still not officially soup weather, but practice makes perfect, and this Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons is as close to perfection as you can get. I wish I could say that about my life.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled, halved, and sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes
  • 1 & 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, or to taste
  • 4 slices rustic white bread
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
  • Neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, beginning to brown, and very tender – about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, plus the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes.
  3. Next, add the basil, salt, and balsamic vinegar, then remove from the heat and let cool for about 5 minutes.
  4. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large, heatproof bowl. Using a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Pour the blended soup through the strainer, pressing on the solids with a rubber spatula or ladle; discard the solids. Taste the soup, andseason to tastewith additional salt and vinegar as needed.
  5. Now on to the croutons. Brush melted butter on one side of each slice of bread, making certain to cover the entire surface. Turn the slices over, and pile Gruyère on two of the slices, the close up your sandwiches with the other slices.
  6. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat, barely coat the pan with a drizzle of neutral oil, and cook the grilled cheese sandwiches for about 2 minutes per side, or until the cheese has melted and the bread is crusty and deep golden brown. For the best results, press down on the sandwiches with a second cast-iron skillet to mimic a panini press while they cook.
  7. Allow the sandwiches to rest for a minute or two, and then cut into square crouton-sized pieces. Reheat the soup as necessary, ladle into bowls, and garnish with achiffonade of basil, grilled cheese croutons, and freshly cracked black pepper.