Adult Grilled Cheese (aka: GetInMyBelly)

best grilled cheese

It’s a beautiful spring day – almost as if the sunshine knew I wanted to pretend it was summer for my big birthday brunch. As we pan down the banquet table overflowing with mimosas and bloody Marys, we catch only the most riveting tidbits of conversation…

“Full disclosure, if we’re going to keep bees in the future, I’ll need a super bee suit, ‘cause I’m allergic, but can it have a tear-away option? However attractive the originals are, they just seem so suffocating.”

“Oh yeah, you can save a gif as a photo to your phone and then text it.” (Just like your very own WhatShouldWeCallMe. Mind. Blown.)

Having fun with the photo app, Fat Booth: “Look, it’s fat Daniel!” to which Daniel responds, “Ah, Katie’s dream. Happy birthday, Katie!” (Basically my real reason for baking so much: the eternal goal to fatten up two of my best friends Daniel and Tim :)

lasagna grilled cheese

As you can tell, the day was filled with important agreements/realizations/dreams-come-true this past weekend. It was, however, also brought to my attention that this year will be the final year of the famed Los Angeles Grilled Cheese Invitational. I’m sorry; I forgot to ask if you were sitting down for that terrible news.

This is truly an epic event for all ages. The glorious combination of beautiful Southern California with: Bread + Butter + Cheese = Victory. They give away samples of as much delicious grilled cheese as you can handle; you can compete – like I did, back in 2010; and you can enter the poetry contest, like my amazing brother did. An abridged version of his genius, award-winning craft:

There’s a fabulous feeling that’s sweeping the nation.
Now unleashed in our land is a cheese celebration.
From Burbank to Long Beach, from Carson to Venice,
Cheese is sweeping away every plague plight and menace.
Too long have we waited in anticipation
For buttered bread and cheddar salvation.
They’re gooey and grilled, they’re a melted delight
They’ve got my mouth drooling all day and all night.
There are sandwiches as fancy as a pair of Guccis
Crafted of Monterey, jack, even of bluecheese.
We’re starting a trend. We’re bringing cheese back.
It’s not just a snack; it’s a gruyere attack!

All of this is to say that I have an incredible grilled cheese for you this week! (And if you live anywhere near LA, you need to go to this event next month!)

Meg and I whipped up these bad boys for a small dinner party (of three – totally still a rockin’ party) with an infusion project happening while the onions caramelized.

three cheese grilled cheese

If you’ll recall, I love caramelized onions. On the list of foods that are a gift from God, they’re right up there with salted caramel and cookie dough. They’re so simple to make – you just need a little bit of time on your hands, and you shall be greatly rewarded.

The caramelized onions come together with roasted tomatoes and three kinds of cheese. Yes, three. Stupid not to. Parm, mozzarella, and ricotta blended with basil and spinach. And it all gets beautifully melted together between two slices of hearty, buttered bread. Oh, that golden crunch! Beautiful.

grilled cheese

And for more beautiful recipes, check out the party over at Fiesta Friday.

Here’s what we did:

Adult Grilled Cheese
inspired by Joy the Baker
*makes 6 sammies

Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat with:
-1 Tbs. olive oil

Slice into half-moons:
-2 large onions

Add the onions to the skillet with:
-1 Tbs. butter
-1 Tbs. olive oil
-2 tsp. salt

Cook the onions on medium heat for about 20 minutes, yes, 20. Patience. You want them to be really soft and golden brown (turn down to medium-low if they start to brown too quickly). Set aside until all your ingredients are ready to go.

In another skillet on high heat, sauté until dark brown and soft (set aside when done):
-1 pint cherry tomatoes
-salt and pepper
-1 tsp. olive oil

In a small bowl, mix together:
-¾ c. part-skim ricotta cheese
-3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
-1/3 c. chopped spinach
-salt and pepper to taste

Slice and butter one side of good crusty bread.
-salted butter, softened
-12 slices of bread

To assemble the sammies, spread a spoonful of the ricotta mixture on the unbuttered side of each slice of bread. Sprinkle on one side:
-1 Tbs. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
-thinly sliced fresh mozzarella to cover the bread in one layer

Top with some of the roasted tomatoes and caramelized onions. Close the sandwich up with your other piece of bread and brown the sandwich in a skillet on medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melty. Serve hot and enjoy!!!

adult grilled cheese

French phrase for fun:
Il y a un sentiment fabuleux qui reprend de la nation.
There’s a fabulous feeling that’s sweeping the nation.

35 thoughts on “Adult Grilled Cheese (aka: GetInMyBelly)

  1. Looks great, glad you had a nice birthday brunch. Will be borrowing this recipe come summertime as this year I have the space to attempt to grow my own tomatoes :)

  2. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #7 and Divorced Eggs | The Novice Gardener

  3. This looks fabulicious, Katie! Bookmarking right now. What a great recipe for adult grilled cheese, which I have a feeling kids of all ages would totally go crazy over. Thanks for sharing this at the fiesta! :-)

  4. Wow, this looks delicious, Katie! I’m a grilled cheese lover already, but I love your ‘grown-up’ take on it! Such wonderful ingredients you’ve added in here. I bet this is delicious!

  5. Happy birthday, Katie! It sounds like you had a fabulous time. These sandwiches look crazy decadent and scrumptious. Love the combination of the cherries and onions with that ricotta mixture (which I have never seen anywhere). My favorite thing about grilled cheese sandwiches, though, is the crunchy, cheesy bread off the grill! YUM.

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