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Grilled cheese is my jam. When I was younger, my dad would make my sister and me a grilled cheese sandwich every day after our morning swim practice. It was basically the best treat in the world. Stuffed with Colby jack cheese and buttered to perfection, my dad would slice it in half on a diagonal, rather than a boring down-the-middle cut, and we would gobble it up with big smiles on our faces. But those were my picky eater days. Now I stuff my grilled cheese sandwiches with lots of fun ingredients.
And what better event to pair with an all-American jazzed-up classic, like the grilled cheese, than the Olympics? So I’ve decided to share my grilled cheese — Olympic edition. It’s loaded with two kinds of cheese, juicy tomatoes and sliced avocados, then slathered with a healthy dose of butter and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and grilled to perfection. Try serving this tonight for the Olympic swimming matchups — invite your friends over and tell them to bring over their favorite ingredients for a grilled cheese sandwich soiree.
I’ve taken a classic recipe from Tyler Florence and made additions to it.
8 slices whole-wheat bread
4 large but thin slices of farmhouse cheddar
4 large but thin slices of fontina cheese
1 Hass avocado, thinly sliced
2 large tomatoes, sliced in rounds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat. Alternatively, you can use your panini press if you have one.
Assemble the sandwich: Place four slices of bread on a cutting board. Lay a piece of cheddar and fontina on each piece of bread, followed by a few slices of avocado and then the sliced tomatoes. Place the remaining bread on top and spread with butter. Sprinkle the red pepper flakes on top of the butter. Place the bread buttered-side down into the skillet and butter the remaining side. Cook until cheese is slightly melted and bread is browned. Flip the sandwich and continue to cook until cheese is thoroughly melted and sandwich is golden brown.
Gaby Dalkin is a chef, photographer/food stylist, enthusiastic traveler and guacamole fanatic. She is the founder of What’s Gaby Cooking, where she showcases her simple and sassy recipes that feature whichever ingredients she is currently obsessing over. She lives in Los Angeles with her fiancé, Thomas, and her cat, Stella.