Thursday, February 26, 2015

Grilled Cheese Italian Style: Pepperoni and Parmesan Crust

Printable Recipe
I'll admit it, I love grilled cheese, any kind of grilled cheese, with every combination of savory, spicy, hot, sweet, cheese, meat, jam, sauce, mustard - you name it. This one: Think pizza flavors of mozza and pepperoni and sauce with a crispy outer crust of parmesan. Mmmmmmmm, yeah!

I cut diagonal slices of Italian Bread. Spread each one with your favorite pizza sauce. (I used spaghetti sauce because I like it better.)
Now fire up the skillet with a thin film of olive oil and just warm up the pepperoni slices to help with the melting of all that cheesey cheese. This is thin sliced, very tender pepperoni, labelled Old World Pepperoni in my store, but you could try a good brand such as Boar's Head and have it sliced very thin if you can't find something pre-packaged.
When they start to bubble just a bit, get them out and layer on both pieces of bread. Then pile on the cheese. I mean pile it on, lots 'o cheese. And slap on the lid. Carefully transfer to the skillet and slide it around in the hot oil a little then press down for good contact.
After the flip, I know it looks done, but Wait! There's more!
When I mentioned that parmesan crust, I do mean a solid crispy layer over the entire surface of the bread. We're going to make that happen with some grated parmesan delivered straight to the skillet in an Italian Grilled Cheese sandwich shape, just like this. Now press your sammy right on top of that.
Now let it sizzle 1 minute and carefully lift the edge of the bread with a metal spatula. You may have to scrape under it persistently to make it lift off in one piece. If you do it right you'll have a beautiful golden crunchy crust. Now, repeat on the other side because two is better than one.
Bravo! Feel free to load this little pizza-like sandwich with all your favorites. Peppers and green olives? Of course. Sauteed mushrooms and onions? Sure. Anchovies? Whatever floats your boat. Just pile on the extras under the cheese layer and press down the top before you gently move your loaded sandwich to the griller-skillet. Have fun, y'all.

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