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Volume III
January, 2013

Newsletter Home / Table Talk

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese

By Calli Rhoades

One of my favorite "classics" is a simple little combination loved by many. Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup are practically synonymous with warmth and comfort. They are favorites for kids and adults alike.

In fact, last week at my monthly bunco game group the hostess had all the makings for paninis as our dinner. I took several cheeses, the delicious bread, and a couple other simple ingredients and tossed my sandwich on the Panini press. What came out was this fantastically delicious custom grilled cheese that I thoroughly enjoyed every bite of. I came home and told my husband to put a Panini maker on my Christmas list because I needed to eat that sandwich again!

In this article I want to share a couple of recipes for dressing up your grilled cheese and a couple for twisting up your tomato soup. By the end I hope you'll have some new recipes that'll make your next grilled cheese and tomato soup night all grown up! Let's be honest though, the kids will probably still love it too!

Grown-Up Farmhouse Grilled Cheese

Author: Recipe courtesy Claire Robinson Total Time: 45 min

8 thin slices pancetta
8 slices brioche, about 1/2-inch thick
4 ounces sharp white cheddar, thinly sliced (recommended: farmhouse)
1 large heirloom tomato, cut into 4 slices
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Set a rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Lay the pancetta slices on the rack on the baking sheet and bake until crisp, 15 to 18 minutes. Meanwhile, set your toaster to a low setting and toast the brioche slices, (they should be slightly dry but not brown). Lay 4 slices lightly toasted brioche on a work surface and cover the slices with half the cheese, followed by a slice of tomato. Season each sandwich with a pinch of salt and a healthy grind of black pepper. Top each with 2 pancetta rounds and the remaining cheese. Lay the remaining brioche slices on top and press down lightly. Butter the top of each sandwich with 1/2 tablespoon butter. Heat a large griddle pan over medium heat. Melt the remaining tablespoon butter on the griddle pan and add the sandwiches, buttered side up. Cook until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is beginning to melt. Flip the sandwiches, press lightly, and continue cooking until golden and toasty. Transfer to a cutting board and slice the sandwiches with a serrated knife, on the diagonal. Arrange on a serving platter and serve immediately.


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Grilled Cheese of the Gods

Author: nevadamommy

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
8 slices cooked bacon
4 slices Cheddar cheese
8 slices sourdough bread

In a small bowl, mash together the butter and Parmesan cheese until evenly blended. Make sandwiches by placing two slices of bacon and one slice of Cheddar cheese on half of the bread slices. Top with the remaining slices of bread. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spread some of the butter mixture on the top of each sandwich. Place sandwiches butter side down in the skillet. Spread the remaining butter mixture on the other sides. Cook until golden brown on each side, about 3 minutes per side. To serve, cut in half diagonally. Kitchen-Friendly View PREP 10 mins COOK 6 mins READY IN 16 mins


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Quick and Spicy Tomato Soup

Author: Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (26-ounce) jar (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce (recommended: san marzano brand)
2 (14-ounce) cans (14-ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion, and garlic and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the jar of marinara sauce, chicken broth, cannellini beans, red pepper flakes, pasta, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve. SERVINGS: 4 (MAIN); Calories: 430; Total Fat: 16 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Protein: 15 grams; Total carbohydrates: 59 grams; Sugar: 3 grams Fiber: 10 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Sodium: 1,976 milligrams


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Tomato Soup with a Twist Recipe

Total Time: 15

1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
11/3 cups 1-1/3 whole milk
2 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese
additional Cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan, combine soup and peanut butter. Gradually stir in milk. Add cheese; cook and stir until peanut butter and cheese are melted and soup is heated through. Garnish with additional cheese. Yield: 2 servings.


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