My grilled cheese sandwiches usually stem from an inspiration ingredient. This time, it was like a freaking no-brainer. I was at the store and I found frozen mozzarella sticks. I thought, what better cheese to make a grilled cheese with, than fried cheese. Obviously. Thus, the fried mozzarella grilled cheese was born. I will say that I’m going to be trying the same recipe with a non-frozen version of the cheese in the future, but I couldn’t make you guys wait for the recipe and pics. If anyone beats me to the punch, please feel free to share! I thinking using a fresher, creamier mozzarella would send it completely over the top. Not that it isn’t amazing and decadent as is. Hope you like.
(Amounts may vary due to the size of your bread slices)
2 slices of a hearty artisan bread that will crisp up nicely and hold up to a lot of tomato sauce
as many fried mozzarella sticks as will fit on one slice of bread
tomato sauce: homemade, from a jar, whichever you have
parmesan cheese (I prefer shaved, but if you have grated lying around the house, again, that is fine)
additional Italian seasoning mix of your choice
a handful of fresh spinach leaves
hot pepper infused olive oil (or olive oil and chili flakes)
salt and pepper
Bake or fry your mozzarella sticks as instructed. (If you’re using fresh mozzarella: bread them with egg and seasoned bread crumbs and fry until browned.)In the meantime, lay out slices of bread and spoon a generous portion of sauce on each slice.Over one sauced slice, sprinkle a generous amount of parmesan cheese. On the other, sprinkle italian seasoning. (It will help hold up to the bread and the breading on the mozzarella.) Then, on one slice, drizzle a zig zag of Sriracha to liven it up a little. Then cover each slice completely with mozzarella.
After your slices are prepared, heat infused olive oil (or olive oil and a pinch of pepper flakes) in a small skillet over medium heat. Add spinach and toss until wilted. Place on top of one of your bread slices.
Follow up with your mozzarella sticks on top of the bed of spinach. Top with more sauce.
Close your sandwich. It will likely be tall and a little difficult to manage, so please be careful.
Butter the top slice of bread.
Preheat your skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Place the sandwich, butter-side down in skillet.
Using your press (preferably cast iron, but anything heavy will work), gently compress the sandwich. Continue watching the sandwich as it cooks so the press doesn’t become off-kilter and slide all of your ingredients into the skillet. Trust me.
Once it has been cooking for a few minutes and you feel like it is nearing time to flip it, butter the top slice of bread.
Flip the sandwich and replace the press.
Once it is thoroughly browned on both sides and melty all over the place, remove it from the skillet. Allow to set for a minute or two before slicing. Eat it. Eat it up.
February 25, 2013 @ 1:48 am sani panini