Monday, March 7, 2011

Leftover Breakfast: Frittata Grilled Cheese

There is nothing more rewarding about working from home then making breakfast from leftovers. And I love a good breakfast sandwich.

Let me start by pointing out there is no wrong way to make a grilled cheese sandwich. But there are some techniques I think work better. This is a slower, lower heat method, but if you have the right tools and bread, high heat fast cooking makes a great sandwich as well. See Alton Brown's technique.

1. Bread. Cut thin enough that heat can readily pass through it. It shouldn't be to dense. If you can see through it a few spots that's great.

2. Bread quality. The better the bread the better then grilled cheese. I like a multi-grain. Publix bakery does a 5 grain sourdough (not available in every store for some reason) and its perfect. Get them to cut it thin (see tip 1). I stopped buying 'manufactured' bread awhile back. Take that PepperidgeArnoldWonder jerks!

3. Cheese. There needs to be some shredded cheese in the middle. Anything will get the job done but meltability and flavor will affect the final product. I like the Artisan blends (particularly the Mexican blend) Sargento makes. This is much easier then dealing with a block of cheese, but if you really want to go gourmet, shred your own.

4. Fat. Fat goes on the outside of the bread to get that golden brown, crunchiness. Butter or olive oil are the best options. Mayo and margarine are also popular solutions but I think both suck.

5. Heat. You must cook it hot enough to brown the bread, but low enough that the heat penetrates the sandwich before burning the outside! Medium low.

Back to the leftovers. I have the bread, cheese, and butter along with fresh tomato slices (Pine Island, FL...thank you local winter crops) and the leftover 'flat' frittata discussed yesterday.

Frittata was in plastic wrap, so I tossed the package in the microwave for 1 minute on half power.

I'm using a All-Clad steel pan for this job. Medium low heat. The butter goes in early (pan isn't pre-heated yet). Add 1 piece bread to melted butter in pan.

Construction order:

1 bread slice
cheese
tomato slices
frittata
cheese
bread

I like to press the sandwich. Big spatula does the job. Weight it down with a big can of beans if you don't want to hold it. It will take anywhere from 2-5 minutes depending on your heat and pan.

Flip.

Repeat on other side.

Eat.

This was a great adventure in leftover breakfast sandwiches.

Espresso along side it.