Word on the street is April is National Grilled Cheese Month (it's also National Soft Pretzel Month and apparently National Jelly Bean Day is just around the corner). But talk to any grilled cheese enthusiast and they'll point out that the toasty, melty, buttery goodness should be enjoyed any day or month of the year.
Check out five places to enjoy grilled cheese around L.A.
1. 1st 8th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational, April 24, 2010, noon - 6 p.m.
Grilled cheese competitions, Tillamook grilled cheese samples, and even a cheesy costume contest guarantees that massive cheese-loving crowds will descend upon the Los Angeles Center Studios next weekend. Plan ahead by buying advance tickets ($12.40) at beticketing.com so you're not left grumpy and cheeseless come the big day.
One of the most buzzed-about vendors in the mobile food storm, the Grilled Cheese Truck nailed all that appeals to basic human nature: cheese, butter and bread fried up on demand and served hot (depending on the lines). The truck caters to all types of grilled cheese enthusiast: the purist who chooses cheddar on French bread; the nouveau modern grilled cheeser who opts for a Brie melt on cranberry walnut bread with pears and honey; or the drunken dude with a death wish who prefers the artery-clogging cheesy mac and rib sandwich. Spice it up with a dipping sauce or a shot of tomato soup on the side. Follow them on Twitter for up-to-the-minute locations.
3. 8 Oz Burger Bar's Grilled Cheese with Short Ribs
Chef Govind Armstrong's decadent signature dish is a must, even among a menu filled with tempting burgers and sliders. Served with soft Bel Paese cheese, slow-cooked pulled short ribs, and red onion marmalade, this is one of those dishes where it's better not to think about the calorie count and simply dig in.
4. Grilled Cheese Wednesday at The Oaks Gourmet
In honor of this special month, every Wednesday at The Oaks Gourmet is Grilled Cheese Night, from 6 p.m. to midnight. A selection of upscale creations are served with a cup of tomato bisque, including cranberry-walnut bread with Fontina, extra-sharp cheddar and Camembert; the "Oaks Madame," with crispy prosciutto grilled with Fontina and Camembert, topped with a sunny-side up egg and Gruyere sauce Mornay, and many more.
5. Make Your Own!
Cooking at home is the easiest way to ensure a healthy dish, and Chef Devin Alexander has a recipe with all the flavor and less of the fat. Devin Alexander is the host of “Healthy Decadence" on FitTv and the author of the New York Times best-selling Biggest Loser cookbooks.
Grilled Cheese with Kalamata Batard, Brie, and Turkey
- olive oil spray
- 4 ½-inch thick olive bread slices
- 1 ounce light Brie
- 1 ounce slice honey smoked turkey breast
Slice the Brie into very thin slices. Divide the Brie evenly among the four slices of bread. Cut the turkey slice in half. Top two of the bread slices with a half piece of turkey. Then, top those bread slices with the two remaining slices, making two sandwiches.
Place a medium, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, lightly spray with olive oil spray. Place the two sandwiches in the pan. Cook for five minutes, then flip the sandwiches over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
Makes one serving (two sandwiches): 257 calories, 18 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 878 mg sodium
Photo credits: The Oaks Gourmet, Govind Armstrong
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