If you love lists—or a particular food you’re so inclined to eat 50 different ways—Food Network Magazine’s every-issue bonus recipe booklet will keep you busy for a while. The handy tear-out insert has covered everything in the past from eggs and burgers to dips and cocktails.
But for April, the expansive list tackles grilled cheese in honor of National Grilled Cheese Month, not to mention today’s little known holiday–did you know that April 12 is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day?
This nationwide love for all things bread, butter and cheese is no joke. In fact, the Grilled Cheese Invitational, held annually in Los Angeles, takes the simple sandwich to gourmet heights.
If you can’t make it to the West Coast by April 28, the date of this year’s invitational, Food Network Magazine’s bonus booklet can help get you in on the celebration, starting with the basics.
In the past, I’ve criticized the range of recipes in these inserts, but only because they always seem to be multiple variations on a few basic recipes. Then again, I’ve never set out to come up with 50 different versions of one dish, so what do I know?
I will say there seems to be a little more variety than usual among the grilled cheeses—which is probably thanks to the many, many cheeses available. Quite a few sandwich recipes call for meats as well, such as ham, roast beef or pastrami.
Tomatoes are another popular choice, as is incorporating mayonnaise of all kinds, olives, pickles and even jams or fruits to add a sweetness to the sandwich. (For over-the-top sweetness, try the Grilled Cheese Donuts at Cincinnatti’s Tom + Chee.) A few call for potato chips, macaroni & cheese or an egg.
For breakfast on the go, try No. 33, the bacon-waffle-cheddar sandwich, toaster waffles topped with cheddar and bacon and served with maple syrup. For something sweeter, No. 48’s combination of brie and marmalade on cinnamon-raisin bread should do the trick.
Or, if you want to channel some royalty, the No. 50 Nutella and banana sandwich employs ricotta, Nutella and sliced bananas on challah or brioche bread. Surely the Queen herself would approve.
If you’re a traditionalist when it comes to grilled cheese, there’s something here for you, too. Of course, you can’t go wrong with No. 1, the classic. And maybe you won’t be opposed to adding a little bacon, a combination of cheeses or even some sliced jalapenos to spice things up.
Whether you want to keep it simple or put a new twist on the grilled cheese sandwich, you’re sure to find something to suit your taste in Food Network Magazine’s bonus booklet this month.