Intro: Mediterranean Grilled Cheese Sandwich
At my count there are at least 31 grilled cheese-type sandwiches on Instructables. So why would I choose to add yet another? Well there are two reasons - (1) my mother taught me this and I really like it and want to share, (2) now is the season for great fresh tomatoes.
What makes this special besides the connection to my mother is the addition of tomatoes and oregano. Many of the countries around the Mediterranean Sea use copious amounts of tomatoes and oregano in their everyday cooking. The combination is pleasing to the palate and is a fairly robust way to exemplify the region's tastes.
At the risk of being lost in the shuffle, here we go! Be sure and check the pictures for notes.
Step 1: Ingredients
You will need:
- sliced bread - I prefer a whole grain white because it is more substantial than the usual bleached flour types
- sliced cheese - Kraft Sharp American is my choice, though there are many others
- slicing tomato - pick a nice solid ripe one
- room temp butter - because you cannot grill without it (more later)
- oregano - to add the Mediterranean kick that makes this special
- a sharp knife
- a butter knife or spreader
- a skillet or frying pan
- a spatula
Step 2: Tips
A couple of tips:
First, when slicing tomatoes for sandwiches, I always slice through the stem part. If it is sliced the other way, then you need to dig out the stem part. This way it is a simple triangular cut and all the hard bits are removed in just two cuts.
Second, how do you know when the pan is just hot enough to grill to golden perfection and not too hot so it burns on contact or too cold so it takes forever? The answer is - water! I learned long ago that you should have your pan on a heat such that if you sprinkle a few drops of water off your fingers it should "skitter" across the pan - not flash to steam or just sit there heating. On my stove, this is a medium-low setting. Even then, it only takes about a minute to grill to golden.
Step 3: Steps
- Put the pan on to pre-heat.
- Slice the tomato in 3/16" (4 mm) slices
- Place a slice of cheese on the bottom slice of bread
- Place the tomato slices on the cheese
- sprinkle oregano on the tomato
- Optional - add another slice of cheese
- Check the pan for hotness with water drops
- Add the top slice of bread
- Spread butter on the top
- Turn the sandwich over and pop it into the pan for about a minute while buttering what is now the top
- Carefully flip the sandwich with a spatula and press slightly to compress the layers
- Plate the sandwich and cut it however you like - diagonally or horizontally
Step 4: Enjoy! (and a Few Options)
It's ready to eat! You can add pickles (Kosher dill), potato chips, celery sticks - the list goes on and on.
- some folk use mayonnaise instead of butter
- you could add a few slices of very thin ham
I hope you try this variation on an American classic sandwich. It has nourished my family for generations now. Thank you for reading. All comments are welcome.