I LOVE grilled cheese sandwiches. As simple as they come. Gourmet versions with artisan cheeses and specialty breads are great; but there's something so comforting about the one you had when you were still missing teeth that the sophisticated restaurant versions can't deliver.
I'm talking two plain slices of white sandwich bread around a slice of American cheese; brushed with butter, and toasted until golden brown and crispy. Bonus points if the cheese oozes over the edges and crisps up when it touches the hot pan.
Wait, what was this post about again?
Right.. today I had a craving for grilled cheese, but I also have been eyeing the pepperoni I bought last week... and wasn't sure how much longer I could resist getting into it. The idea was to make pepperoni pizza but as I have been on a cooking hiatus, baking pizza dough just was not on the agenda.
So, as I usually do in a situation like this, I thought of a way that I could fulfill both cravings in one meal. The result was.. *cue lightbulb* the pepperoni pizza melt.
It would marry my favourite things from each dish.. the buttery sandwich bread and american cheese from the grilled cheese sandwich, and the pepperoni and flavourful tomato sauce from the pepperoni pizza.
I immediately stepped into the kitchen (which I am not supposed to do until May 1, but an avatar's gotta eat.. right??) Not-so-coincidentally, I already had all the ingredients on hand, so got right down to it:
|Cook up the pepperoni in a skillet.. I added about half a teaspoon of vegetable oil|
|Drain the cooked pepperoni on a paper towel|
|Mix one teaspoon each of tomato paste and water until it's almost the consistency of ketchup.|
|Add a pinch of each: garlic powder, parsley, oregano, basil, sugar, salt and pepper||.|
|Here's where the grilled cheese comes in: spread the pizza sauce on the bread and top with the pepperoni and cheese.|
|Assemble the sandwich and toast in a skillet (I used the same one that I cooked the pepperoni in, just added a little butter). Use a weight - like a brick covered in foil, or a sandwich press - so the bread crisps up nicely.|
|And looks something like this. Gorgeous golden brown.|
|Slice and Enjoy!|
Note: I am not claiming to be the inventor of pepperoni pizza melts; I'm sure this has been done before. I just have never seen or heard of it.. but that's not unusual.