August 28, 2009

Grilled Ratatouille Sandwiches

i often make cheese sandwiches or grilled cheese sandwiches as a quick supper or for lunch.  Its done quickly filling and loved by my son. I especially like it next to a steaming mug of tomato soup. Thats how my mom and grandma make it and i continue this. Today i sometimes change the ingredients or fillings... as you can see on the picture this time i added some ratatouille and made it a meal by itself... I play with different kinds of bread and cheeses...

The version i made yesterday was swedish rye smorgas bread, thinly sliced camembert and Comte,  fried zucchini slices, red onion rings, red and orange pepper, a slice of heirloom tomato, salt, pepper and herbs de provence. I grilled it in a griddle till the cheese was melted and digged in... very nice

Cheese Sandwiches
An ungrilled or re-grilled cheese sandwich (which is almost universally spoken of without the "ungrilled" adjective) is the older of the two bold varieties, and also is generally more fundamental, without the possible addition of bacon, tomato and other ingredients that one finds in the case of the grilled cheese sandwich.

The bread, which can take any form—split baguettes are most common in France and Belgium, for example, versus vertically sliced loaf bread in North America and the United Kingdom—is toasted or left untoasted, and filled with Swiss or emmental (popular throughout North America and Europe), Cheddar cheese (the UK and North America), American cheese (North America), brie or camembert (France and Belgium), gouda (the Netherlands and Germany), or any of a vast number of other cheeses. In Europe, especially, the sandwiches can be easily found in bakeries (sometimes with butter spread onto the bread), and also at snack bars and more casual restaurants.

A grilled cheese sandwich is a grilled (actually fried) or broiled sandwich consisting of two slices of bread (usually buttered) with cheese melted in between, sometimes combined with an additional ingredient such as peppers, tomatoes or onions. It is a simple variation on the normal cheese sandwich, and is sometimes known as a cheese sandwich, without any qualification. A variety of different names denote the same sandwich, such as cheese toastie or toasted cheese sandwich; in England and New Zealand it goes by toastie, in Australia it is commonly called a cheese jaffle, and in the Netherlands it is called a tosti. Wikipedia

Food historians generally agree that cooked bread and cheese combinations [in many different forms, textures and tastes] were ancient foods known across most continents and cultures. The earliest recipes for food like these are found in Ancient Roman cookbooks. Modern grilled cheese sandwiches descended from these ancient recipes.

Who invented the grilled cheese Americans know today? We will never know, but we can (given the ingredients) place it in time. Culinary evidence suggests our modern grilled cheese (consisting of processed cheese and sliced white bread) began in the 1920s. That's when affordable sliced bread and inexpensive American cheese hit the market. Goverment issue cookbooks tell us World War II Navy cooks broiled hundreds of "American cheese filling sandwiches" in ship's kitchens. This makes sense. The sandwich was economical, easy to make, met government nutrition standards AND (if done right?) quite tasty. In the 1940s and 50s these sandwiches were open-faced and usually made with prepackaged grated "American" cheddar cheese. It wasn't long before school cafeterias and other institutional kitchens followed suit. The usual accompaniment? Tomato soup. At that time, tomato soup would have been perceived as a healthy dose of Vitamin C. Excess sodium was not an issue.

By the 1960s, the top piece of bread became standard. The reason is not clear. Possibly? This was the least expensive way to make a popular sandwich more filling.

Some people wonder about the difference between toasted cheese and grilled cheese. Are they the same thing? On the surface, recipes for both produce somewhat similar results (melted cheese nestled between two slices of crisp, warm, buttered bread). Actually? Food historians tell us this a linguistic puzzle. Notes here:

" made by placing a slice of bread in front of dry heat-a fire, a grill, or an electric toaster...Certainly, toast has a long history in Britain. Tost was much used in the Middle Ages, being made in the ordinary way at an open fire...Often toast was spread with toppings...Meat toppings for toast became fashionable in during the 16th century...Towards the end of the 16th century all knds of things began to appear on toast....[including] melted cheese."

---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 796-7)

" cook by direct exposure to radiant heat, as in when a piece of meat is placed on a grill...The North American word for the verb grill is broil."

---ibid (p. 354)

A survey of American cookbooks reveals that recipes titled for "toasted cheese" sandwiches predate those titled "grilled cheese." Grilled cheese shows up in print in the 1960s. BUT!!! It is also apparent that most recipes for toasted cheese sandwiches were broiled (what the English term grill). To further complicate matters, there seems to be little or no relationship between the name of the dish and the instructed method of cookery. Heating methods include toasting in a broiler, baking in a oven and frying on a cooktop with a frying pan, griddle or similar device. It is interesting to note one does not find recipes for "fried cheese sandwiches," even though many of the recipes called for this cooking method. Curious, yes?

Each of these American recipes below would produce something similar (but not exactly) to modern "grilled" cheese sandwiches:

[1902]--Melted Cheese (hot oven)

Mrs. Rorer's New Cook Book, Sarah Tyson Rorer (p. 275)

[1916]--Cheese Dreams (fried in a chafing dish, served with hot tomato or catchup)

Salads, Sandwiches and Chafing Dish Recipes, Marion H. McNeil (p. 23)

[1929]--Toasted Cheese (broiled in the oven)

Seven Hundred Sandwiches, Florence A. Cowles (p. 181)

[1939]--Toasted Sandwiches (broiled in the oven or sauteed in butter in heavy frying pan)

The Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Fannie M. Farmer (p. 719)

[1949]--Toasted Cheese Sandwiches (sauteed in a skillet)

Fireside Cook Book, James A. Beard (p. 152)

[1953]--Waffle or toasted sandwiches (bread & cheese spread heated in a commercial waffle iron, prescribed for the maidless host')

The Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer (p. 137)

At the Grilled Cheese Invitational cook-off (held annually in Los Angeles), contestants attempt to cook the best grilled cheese sandwich in various categories. The 2008 winner of the Grilled Cheese Invitational "Spaz Trophy" (awarded for overall "weirdness") was the "Cake and Mivens" a dessert grilled cheese sandwich that featured the peeps confectionery.

On November 23, 2004, a grilled cheese sandwich containing a likeness of the Virgin Mary was sold at auction for $28,000.


A grilled cheese sandwich can be made in a variety of ways, depending on both the region and personal preference. None of the usual methods utilize an American style grill.

In the United States, the outside of the assembled sandwich is usually buttered before being fried. The sandwich may be cooked with a griddle, pan, or cast iron skillet. When the bottom of the sandwich is golden brown, it is flipped and cooked on the other side.The sandwich is finished when both sides are toasted and the cheese has melted. In an alternative "pan method," butter or oil is first heated in the pan in which the unbuttered sandwich is then cooked.

A second technique is to make the sandwich in a toaster oven. With this method, a slice of cheese is placed on each slice of bread, and the two halves are separately toasted. The sandwich is then carefully combined at the end, with the two separate slices of cheese bonding to hold the sandwich together. A regular oven or a sandwich toaster can also be used. This method is more common in the United Kingdom where the sandwiches are called "toasties."

A Croque-Monsieur
is a hot ham and cheese (typically emmental or gruyère) grilled sandwich. It originated in France as a fast-food snack served in cafés and bars. More elaborate versions come coated in a Mornay or Béchamel sauce. The emergence of the croque-monsieur (and variations) is mirrored by growth in popular fast-foods in other countries.

The name is based on the verb croquer ("to crunch") and the word monsieur ("mister")—the reason behind the combination of the two words is unclear—and is colloquially shortened to croque. While the origins of the croque-monsieur are unknown, there are many speculations on how it was first originated. The croque-monsieur's first recorded appearance on a Parisian café menu was in 1910.[1] Its earliest published use has been traced back to volume two of Proust's Remembrance of Things Past (À la recherche du temps perdu) (1918).Wikipedia


ich musszwar vorsichtig mit Milchprodukten sein aber ich komme an einem guten gegrilltem Käsesandwich nicht vorbei. Ich spiele da sehr gerne mit Brotsorten und verschiedenen Käsearten. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches gab es bei uns schon immer meine Oma in Canada hat die gerne zubereitet als ein schnelles Mittagessen und meine Mutter hat das ebenso gehandhabt meist mit einem kräftigen Weißbrot und Gouda oder Cheddar und dan ging das in die Pfanne oder Ofen. Dazu gab es meist eine heiße Portion frische Tomatensuppe. Ich liebe das heute immer noch. Mein Sohn macht sich die mittlerweile selbst - auch gerne im Sandwichtoasteer das macht ihm viel Spass...

Wie Ihr wenn Ihr mögt der History und den weitere Informationen in englisch entnehmen könnt hat Brot und Käse logischerweise eine lange Geschichte und wurde schon von den Römern und wahrscheinlich schon viel früher kombiniert gegessen. Jedes Land hat sich "Sandwiches" oder wie man auch immer es bezeichnen mag.. Panini, Croque Monsieur, Welsh Rarebite.. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Käsebrot etc.... Es ist interessant zu verfolgen was da alles kombiniert wird und jedes Land für Traditionen und Begriffe entwickelt hat...

Ich habe gestern mein Sandwich folgendermaßen zubereitet: schwedisches Roggen Smorgas Brot, Comte und Camember fein geschnitten, gebratenen Scheiben Zucchini, rote Zwiebelringe, gebratenen roten und orange Paprikastücke, Tomate, etwas Salz, Pfeffer und Kräuter der Provence.... ich habe die Brotscheiben etwas mit Olivenöl und den Käutern bestrichen die Käsescheiben draufgeben auf beide und in die Mitte das gebratenen Gemüse, etwas Salz Peffer drüber, die zweite Brothälfte mit dem Käse drauf...ab in die heiße Gußeisenpfanne.. einmal wenden und servieren... fertig...


Eline said...

Sehr schöne Würdigung der warmen Käsebrote! Warmes Käsesandwich gehort auch zu meinen Fast Food Standards - am liebsten mit Blattspinat und Cheddar oder als echte Welsh Rarebits, die liegen auch spät abends nicht im Magen.
Der Croque Monsieur heisst in Osterreich "Gmischter Toast", ist in jedem Kaffeehaus zu haben.

Isi said...

Na das ist ja wieder gemein: Ich bekomm hier zu Mittag nur Vollkornbrot mit Frischkäse und Gurke und Du bloggst hier solche Köstlichkeiten *lechz*... *lol*. Ne aber mal im Ernst, hast Du eine richtige Nachkochliste?
Ich dachte erst ich kann mir das merken, aber jetzt muss ich das mal besser organisieren, die Muffaletta will ich ja auch noch machen ... Außerdem hattest du mal so ein tolles Rezept, dass ich für meine Tochter machen wollte, aber leider ist mir völlig entfallen, was es war und deshalb kann ich auch nicht suchen.. Ich weiß nur noch, dass es toll war und dass dein Sohn es liebt :-( Zu Hülf !

Cherry Blossom said...

@Eline... vielen Dank... das mit dem Spinat ist eine schöne Idee... muss ich mal versuchen... ein echtes welsh rarebite ist was feines - als Kind habe ich meine Oma nach dem cheesy rabbit gefragt -lach aber sie wusste was gemeint war....

@Isi... ich freue mich das Du Spass an den Rezepten hast.. es waren die Rice Krispie Treats mit Nutella die Du versuchen wolltest. Die sind aber auch lecker...
Eine Nachkochliste habe ich aufgegeben ichhabe seit 2002 Rezepte ausgedruckt und sogar schon nach Kategorie in Ordner sortiert - letztes Jahr bin ich die Stapel nochmals durchgegangen und etliches entfernt aber ich habe keine Chance das alles nachzukochen - ausser ich gehe in Frührente lach... es gibt allerdings Rezepte von Dir und Eline und anderen Freunden die ich ganz oben auf meiner Liste habe!!

Isi said...

Du bist ein Schatz... genau die waren es :-) In punkto Nachkochliste werde ich vielleicht auch ausdrucken oder mir mal eine Liste mit Links anlegen, mal schauen :-)

mipi said...

Interessant, das mit der Sandwich-Geschichte.


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