The American grilled cheese has come a long way from its meager beginnings as an open-faced sandwich with melted shredded cheese on top.
Today this comfort food has turned into a culinary experience as chefs continue to experiment with bread types, artisanal cheese, meats and more.
Check out these recipes culled from chefs with Benchmark Resorts & Hotels
® and Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels
® that offer a new tasty twist on an old favorite.
Manchego Cheese, Local Harvest Arugula, Figs Marmalade on Cuban Bread
prepared by Chef Guido Estremera
Costa d'Este Beach Resort, Vero Beach, Fla.
- 16 ounces sliced manchego cheese
- 4 ounces figs marmalade
- 2 ounces locally harvested arugula
- 2 loaves of Cuban bread
- 1 cup whole butter, cut into cubes
Divide in half and lay out Cuban bread. Divide the manchego slices evenly. Spread the fig marmalade evenly and top with the local harvest arugula.
In a non-stick pan, or on a flat griddle, melt half of the butter. Lay each sandwich in the hot melted butter, cooking until golden and crispy.
Add the remaining butter to the pan and flip the sandwiches into the freshly melted butter. Cook until golden and crispy.
If necessary, place the sandwiches in a 350 degree oven to further melt the cheese.
Smoked Pork Meltdown on Chattanooga Sourdough
prepared by Chef Adam Roe
The Chattanoogan Hotel, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Ingredients (yields six):
- 1 dozen 3/4 inch slices Chattanooga Sourdough*
- 12 ounces softened butter
- 24 ounces smoked pork shoulder (pulled)
- 6 ounces BBQ sauce
- 1 small bunch green onion
- 12 - 2 ounce slices provolone cheese
Warm pork in skillet with BBQ sauce, set aside. Apply one (1) ounce butter to each side of bread. Place bread, butter side down, on griddle on medium heat.
Place one slice of cheese on each slice of bread and allow to melt while bread turns golden brown and crisp. Fold chopped green onion into pork and put four (4) ounces of mixture into six (6) slices of bread.
Top with remaining sourdough, cut in half, and serve hot with your favorite chips and an extra napkin!
Parmesan-Crusted Five Cheese on Sour Dough
prepared by Chef Lonny Huot
Villas of Grand Cypress, Orlando, Fla.
- 1 ounce softened butter
- 2 each slices of sour dough bread
- 1 ounce Parmesan and Panko bread crumb mix
- 2 slices smoked Gouda cheese
- 1 ounce pepper jack cheese (grated)
- 1 ounce sharp cheddar cheese (grated)
- 2 slices American cheese
- 3 strips Lake Meadow’s Farm pepper bacon
- 2 slices tomato
Butter one side of each bread slice, and then press into the bread crumb mix. Place in buttered flattop with the breadcrumb side down.
Place two (2) slices of American on one side, two (2) sliced of Gouda on the other and then divided the cheddar/Monterey on both. Add cooked pepper bacon.
Warm the tomatoes gently then add to the open sandwich. Close and cook until crust is golden brown and cheeses are melted.
Remove, sliced in half and serve with pickled peppers and pickle spear.
*Note: Goes great with tomato basil bisque or other creative soups.
Country Ham, Sharp Cheddar, West Virginia Golden Apple on Sourdough Bread
prepared by Chef Tim White
Stonewall Resort, Roanoke, WVa.
- 16 ounces sliced sharp cheddar cheese
- 6 ounces thin sliced country ham
- 4 Golden Delicious apple, sliced thin
- 16 slices sourdough bread
- 1 cup whole butter, cut into cubes
Lay out sourdough bread. On all slices, divide the cheddar slices evenly. On half of the slices, divide the apple slices and country ham evenly. Top each with the 2 (two) cheese only slices of bread.
In a non stick pan, or on a flat griddle, melt half the butter chunk. Lay each sandwich in the hot melted butter, cook until golden and crispy. Add the remaining butter to the pan and flip the sandwiches into the freshly melted butter. Cook until golden and crispy.
If necessary, place the sandwiches in a 350 degree oven to further melt the cheese. Remove from the pan, cut each into quarters, stack and pick.
Recipes and photos are courtesy of the properties listed above and Benchmark Resorts & Hotels® and Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels®