Here’s the truth: I could eat a grilled cheese sandwich every day for the rest of my life.
The balance of flavors and textures is just, well, perfect. Crunchy toast and gooey cheese combine to create one of the most satisfying bites in the world.
But there’s another reason I like the toasted sandwich so, so, so much.
The format translates beautifully to something more sophisticated, the kind of sandwich you could make two of, plate with a couple gourmet potato chips, and savor with a glass of wine–and a good friend.
Here, I deck out my favorite sandwich with irresistible honey mustard and sweet apple slices, both of which match irresistibly with sharp cheddar on slices of seven-grain. In turn, the grilled cheese, with its sweet flavors and cheesy richness, pairs with a glass (or two!) of Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay.
Maybe it’s the honey mustard or the focus on a a sandwich as dinner, but something about this meal makes me think of picnics, of summer, of lounging out on a blanket in the park. So I’ll take that for what it is: here’s your ticket to a late winter’s picnic!
- ½ cup chopped cooked chicken
- 1 tablespoon honey mustard OR 2 teaspoons mustard and 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 ounces sharp cheddar
- About ½ an apple, cored and sliced (no need to peel)
- 2 slices bread
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- In a small bowl, combine the chicken with the honey mustard (or honey and mustard) and the mayo. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place most of the cheese on the bottom slice of bread. Pile on the apples, then the chicken, pressing down to try to secure everything. Scatter the remaining cheese on top (this helps glue the sandwich together!), then top with the second slice of bread.
- Heat a frying pan over medium-low heat for 4 minutes. Add half of the butter, and when it melts, place the sandwich in the pan with a weight on top for best results. (I use a Lodge weight meant just for this purpose, but you could try a second frying pan...or just press down occasionally with your spatula.)
- Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the bread is golden and the cheese starts to melt. Lift the sandwich up, add the other ½ tablespoon of butter to the pan, flip the sandwich, and cook about 5 minutes on the second side, pressing down again. Let rest for a moment, then cut in half and serve.
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