Who knew? April is grilled cheese month and since this is the last full week of it, I guess I’m a little behind the game and need to step it up a notch. Grilled cheese was one of the 3 types of foods that got me through my first trimester of pregnancy and I love it just as much now as I did when I was a kid. I used to tell my mother that she made “the bestest grilled cheese ever!” and, being the well-mannered and etiquette driven child that I was, insisted on a proper table setting (silverware and all) to accompany my sandwich. Ok, maybe I was just weird, but I like to think I was advanced for my age.
There are so many different things you can do to grilled cheese to dress it up and I had a hard time choosing what flavor combinations I wanted to put together! I subjected my husband to a night of taste testing (he didn’t complain) and this peach & red pepper jelly grilled cheese came out on top. He said it tasted like peach pie married a sandwich. That was good enough for me.
Grilled cheese really is all about the cheese so you need to choose wisely. I love a good strong cheddar that melts into creamy gooiness on my bread when grilled. My favorite cheddar is Kerrygold Aged Cheddar and it makes the perfect grilled cheese in my not-so-humble opinion.
And yes, I know I used full fat cheese and butter in this recipe and I have a healthy food blog. Sometimes healthy is about eating real whole foods and when it comes to dairy, I support indulging in the full-fat versions in moderation. Don’t worry, though. It’s still around 500 calories and it’s very filling. If that’s still too rich for your blood, you can sub out the cheese for Kerrygold reduced-fat cheddar and save yourself some calories and fat. And even though I think this recipe really calls for sourdough bread, you could use whole wheat instead and pump up your fiber content.
A few tips for getting the best grilled cheese:
- Use sandwich bread, any kind will do, but it works best if the bread isn’t too thick like a bun or ciabatta. Too much bread will swallow up your cheese!
- Shred your cheese and make sure it’s cold. I use about 2 ounces of cheese per sandwich. Freshly shredded has the best texture and it shreds best when cold.
- Make sure there is cheese touching both slices of bread. This will hold your sandwich together and plus I’m a sucker for having things even on both sides (again, me being a weirdo).
- Butter your bread, not your skillet. This will allow you to use less butter and have more even crispness on your crust.
- Cook it low and slow. Don’t crank that heat up! Cook your sandwich on medium-low to medium heat so that your bread doesn’t get burned before your cheese melts.
- Shake it up a bit. Experiment with different cheeses, ingredients, breads, etc. Add your favorite flavors and don’t be afraid of it. It’s cheese after all, it goes well with just about anything!
Peach & Red Pepper Jelly Grilled Cheese
Servings: 2• Size: 1 sandwich • Weight Watcher Points+: 14
Calories: 524 • Fat: 24g • Carbs: 57g • Fiber: 3g • Protein: 21g
Sugars: 24g • Sodium: 740mg • Cholesterol: 59mg
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 4 ounces Kerrygold Aged Cheddar, shredded
- 2 medium white or yellow peaches, pitted & sliced
- 2 Tablespoons red pepper jelly
Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Butter one side of each of the bread slices with the butter (it doesn’t take much!) Put 2 of the bread pieces butter side down in the skillet. Top them with half the cheese, then the red pepper jelly and peaches and sprinkle the remaining half the cheese on top. Top each sandwich with the remaining bread slices, buttered side up.
When the sandwiches begin to brown and crisp up and the cheese melts, about 4-5 minutes, carefully turn them over with a spatula and cook an additional 4-5 minutes or until this side has browned and the cheese had melted.