Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with a Twist

After having a little too much fun over the weekend, I figured we all needed some cheesy goodness in our lives - both from The Bachelor and the dressed-up grilled cheese sandwiches I selected as the main course on Monday night. To add some flair to the sammies, I used Taleggio, a semi-soft Italian cheese that melts easily and has a nice, tangy flavor. Taleggio can be hard to find, so you can substitute with Gouda or Fontina cheese if needed. Before grilling the sandwiches, I added a few spoonfuls of marinara sauce between the layers of cheese and bread. I truly believe that tomatoes have the potential to improve any dish, and in this case, I was right! Since we were at Kingsley's house, she let me try out her new grill pan. It has a heavy top that fits inside a griddled skillet and creates picture-perfect grill marks.

In order to keep both labor and ingredients to a minimum, I paired the sandwiches with Alexia sweet potato fries, an Affordable Foodie favorite that's available in the freezer section at most grocery stores, and a homemade Mexican-inspired cole slaw. You should seriously consider keeping a supply of Alexia fries and oven-roasted potatoes on hand in your freezer. Made with all natural ingredients and best straight out of the oven, both options are delicious and healthy. The cole slaw, which has a slight kick from a minced serrano chile and plenty of fresh lime juice, serves as the perfect foil to the sweet fries.

These recipes feed four, and we spent just $25 on the ingredients. We had some leftover cole slaw, which Kingsley ate for lunch the next day. Enjoy!

Taleggio Panini


1 jar of your favorite brand of pasta sauce
6 - 8 ounces Taleggio cheese (feel free to remove the rind but it's not necessary)
1 loaf crusty bread, sliced thin
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil


Place thin slices of Taleggio cheese on one slice of bread. Cover cheese with a several heaping tablespoons of pasta sauce and top with another slice of bread. Repeat the process to prepare additional sandwiches.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When oil begins to glisten, reduce heat to medium and place sandwiches in bottom of pan. Cover with lid and cook until sandwiches are golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip sandwiches, adding one more tablespoon of olive oil when you do. Continue cooking until golden brown on the second side, about two minutes more. Serve paninis immediately with extra pasta sauce on the side for dipping.

AF Go-To Cole Slaw


1 bag sliced cabbage/prepared cole slaw mix
4 green onions, chopped
1 serrano chile, minced
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp. mayo
2 limes, juiced
Kosher or sea salt to taste


Toss cabbage with green onions, serrano chile, cilantro and mayo. Add lime juice and season with salt to taste. Toss ingredients again and add more mayo if the mixture seems dry.


  1. Can the Affordable Foodie deliver this meal to me at lunch today??!! PLEASE! Looks yummy... excited to try this recipe at home! Thanks, AF!

  2. That all looks SO tasty! I wish I was on the east coast and at these delish dinners :) And is that the Le Creuset grill pan with press? I just registered for it today and am so excited to hopefully own it!

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  4. Woops! Forgive me... commented on the wrong post however this GCS sounds AMAZING as well! My mouth is watering! Loves the AF! xo