Perfect pairings they say.
Sandwiches and pickles are one of them.
Sometimes, it’s the sour against the sweet, the savory of meat, balanced by the tartness of the sour. The richness of the melted, gooey cheese paired with the refreshing crisp bite and acidity of a dill pickle and its brine.
That, in a nutshell, is a Cubano aka. Cuban Sandwich!
A triumphant layering of flavorful, mojo roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard between slices of panini pressed or griddled bread.
Three savory and two tart ingredients wrestling between two neutral slices of crisp goodness, all vying for your complete attention.
It’s one of those cases where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
Other sandwiches, like Corned Beef or Pastrami go better with crisp spears of deli pickles on the side, rather than in the sandwich.
Taking it one step further, if you dare call a hot dog a sandwich, the famous Chicago Style Hot Dog has two pickles “side-kicks”, both the classic dill pickle spear and the Hulk-Green Chicago-style pickle relish which top this “dragged through the garden” hot dog.
Somewhere, buried underneath it all, is a hot dog.
And finally, yes, there are even sandwiches that use the PICKLE, as the bun!
All of this is to say that pickles, or even vegetables that are pickled, (as is the case with the popular Giardiniera in the Muffuletta), are the perfect complement to sandwiches.
During the month of Lent, many people are looking for something “meatless” but delicious to prepare.
And for all you pickle lovers, we have a sandwich solution for you to enjoy.
And it’s the PERFECT sandwich for you to celebrate NATIONAL GRILLED CHEESE MONTH!
Which is April.
If you’re really into embracing the celebration, National Grilled Cheese DAY is on Wednesday, April 12th.
So, gather the family, make yourself a pot of Cream of Tomato Soup, and enjoy this amazing sandwich.
Ooey Gooey Grilled Cheese & Pickle Sandwich.
Yes, you can make this sandwich using the usual American cheese slices or Velveeta spread if you like, but we’re suggesting you bump this classic sandwich up a notch by using three different kinds of cheese which will give this sandwich both an exceptional cheese flavor AND that melted “pull-apart” string that all cheese lovers love.
The recipe “instructions” for how to make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich are so simple that we’ll only mention a few dos and don’ts here and there.
Instead, we’ll focus instead on these key ingredients.
The Bread. Here we like to go with 2 thick slices of non-seeded Italian bread. The second choice is a thick-cut Texas Toast bread.
Choose a brand with a “tight crumb”, meaning not too many holes. It will brown up nicely, and hold up to the cheeses and the pickle spears without getting soggy.
It will also give you a nice crunch.
The Bread Spread. You’ve got 3 good choices but one is better than the rest in our opinion.
Your 3 choices are mayonnaise (yep), and if you can get Duke’s you’re better off. Then there is Crisco….. meh? No flavor. And finally, softened butter.
Our favorite butter is President or Kerrygold salted. The tip here is to soften the butter to a spreadable consistency then apply it directly to the outer sides of both slices of bread rather than add the butter to the pan.
The Cheese. Ahhhh…here we go, this is where the magic happens.
You want flavor, a good melting consistency, and that Ooey Gooeyness, these are the 3 cheeses we recommend for a truly memorable grilled cheese sandwich.
They are, layered together from the bottom up:
1. 1/8” sliced Tillamook Medium Cheddar (for flavor)
2. ¼” sliced Colby Jack (for the Ooey Gooey string)
3. 1/8” sliced Aged Gouda (for a bit of sharper flavor)
*And an important tip here. Be sure all of your cheeses are at ROOM TEMPERATURE before you make and then grill your sandwiches.
It will ensure that they melt well.
The Pan or Griddle.
Either works well.
If a pan, one with a heavy bottom works the best. Set it to 300°F, which is medium. You want the cheese to melt JUST as the bread is golden brown. Too high of heat and your bread will brown before your cheese is perfectly melted.
No, we didn’t forget the most important ingredient here.
You may choose any Great Lakes Pickling Pouch pickle you enjoy; we do however recommend that you use first to pat them dry on absorbent paper towels and then let them come to room temperature before placing them anywhere in the middle of the cheese layers. Just one layer.
Making the perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich is a fun and delicious way to not only celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month but to explore the many delicious recipes you can make with your Great Lakes Pickling Pouch pickles.