April has arrived! April is the month of spring showers, new greenery, Easter eggs, and baby animals. Also, it’s National Grilled Cheese Month!
I know it sounds like some sort of hilarious April Fool joke, but it’s Grilled Cheese Month, and you can bet I’ll be celebrating! brussels sprout
I am a total grilled cheese fanatic. Grilled cheese sandwiches are the ultimate sandwich form. Crispy, golden brown outsides and insides equal perfection. True story: I didn’t grow up eating grilled cheese sandwiches. My mom never cooked these, possibly because grilled cheese sandwiches aren’t remotely Chinese and she thought butter was terrible for us. Instead of grilled cheese, she’d create toasted cheese sandwiches in our toaster oven. Yes, they were cheesy and toasted, but a grilled cheese cannot be called a grilled cheese without the buttery crunchy surface. brussels sprout
The true fun with grilled cheese begins when you branch out from the fundamentals. What if you don’t have any bread but have a surplus of English muffins? Perfect. I like to use English muffins since they’re round, slightly smaller than regular bread, and have nooks and crannies that are ideal for browning. An English muffin grilled cheese is a wonderful revelation. Extra crispy, extra buttery, and extra fantastic. And brussels sprouts that are immediately sautéed? They’re fantastic in grilled cheese. Especially when paired with bacon. This sandwich is delicious even without the bacon.
2 slices thick cut bacon, optional
1/4 of a small shallot, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
3-4 brussel sprouts, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
dijon mustard, to taste
1/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 English muffin, sliced in half
Cook your bacon until it reaches the crispiness you desire. That means super crispy with almost all of the fat drained out for me. Drain the bacon on paper towels, but reserve a small amount of bacon fat, about 1 teaspoon, to sauté the shallots and sprouts in. In a small frying pan, heat the teaspoon of bacon fat over medium heat. If you're not using bacon, drizzle a small amount of neutral oil onto the pan. Cook until the shallots are slightly soft, about 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat up to high and toss in the sprouts. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until somewhat wilted and browned. Remove from the fire and season with salt and pepper.
Butter the inside cut side of an English muffin on a cutting board. The inside will be the side that you grill. Flip the muffins over so that the butter is facing the cutting board, and then assemble your sandwich. Spread a small amount (or a lot, if you prefer) of mustard on one muffin half. Top with half of the shredded cheddar, the bacon slices, the sprouts, and the remaining cheese. Top with the remaining muffin half.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and carefully transfer the sandwich to the pan. Fry, flipping once, until golden brown and crispy. Enjoy right away.
It is peak cozy, nutritious, and cool-weather wonderful.