Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Greek Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Grilled cheese sandwiches always remind me of my childhood.  My mom had this little toastie maker and she used to make us cheese toasties and ham and cheese toasties regularly for dinner.  Man I loved those ham and cheese toasties.  Somehow she never made us more traditional grilled cheese sandwiches, but I guess that's not all that surprising.  The first time I made a real grilled cheese with bread, butter, and American cheese slices in a pan on the stove top was on a trip to West Virginia that I took with a friend in ninth grade.  Even though grilled cheeses are incredibly nostalgic for me, this particular grilled cheese doesn't remind me of anything that I ate during my childhood.  I certainly never had a grilled cheese sandwich with feta cheese and tomatoes in it.  Now that I think about it, I don't think I tried feta cheese until I was in college.  And I didn't try a grilled cheese with tomatoes in it until well after college.  I'm still not sure that I'm a big fan of tomatoes in grilled cheese sandwiches, but I do know that this was a very interesting take on a grilled cheese.  I have made all sorts of grilled cheese sandwiches with a variety of different types of cheese, but it never would have occurred to me to use feta.  And I never would have added in fresh oregano, but I really enjoyed the hint of fresh herbs in the sandwich.  I might steal the idea, but use fresh basil or another herb next time with a different cheese.  All in all, I liked it.  It was an interesting concept and very tasty.  But I'm not entirely sure that I would make it again as is.  The first thing I would substitute is probably the cheese because feta isn't a great melting cheese.  And what defines a grilled cheese better than melted, gooey cheese oozing out after each bite?

Recipe after the jump!

Greek Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
July 1999

1 round loaf of crusty bread (about 8 inches in diameter)
about 5 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound feta
1 large tomato
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
freshly ground black pepper

Cut four 1/2-inch-thick slices from middle of loaf and brush both sides of each slice with some oil. Cut enough 1/4-inch-thick slices from feta to cover 2 slices of bread and cut tomato into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Assemble 2 sandwiches with feta and tomato slices, seasoning filling with oregano, pepper, and salt.

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet heat 1 tablespoon oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook sandwiches until golden, about 2 minutes on each side.

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