Author Notes: Believe it or not, kimchi can be a perfect complement to this classic sandwich -- just a touch of spice and tang to liven up the creaminess of a grilled cheese. —Cynthia Chen McTernan
slices sandwich bread (any -- I used wheat)
tablespoon butter, enough to thinly butter one side of each slice
slices American cheese (but any meltable kind will work well -- pepperjack, cheddar, Colby, provolone are just a few that come to mind! And of course you can always add more cheese.)
cups kimchi, drained, patted dry, and chopped (enough for one or two layers)
- Butter one side of each slice of bread, taking care to spread the butter to the very edges. Note: Alternatively, you can melt the butter directly into the skillet and then fry the bread in it, which I do not do. I find buttering the slices themselves to be a more precise use of the amount of butter I’ll need, and is likely a lesser amount as well. Also, if I have a toaster handy I like to lightly toast my bread beforehand, but that’s totally optional.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat, then place the slices of bread butter-side down. Next, you’ll need to add one slice of cheese to each slice of bread. If you’re using cheese that takes a bit of time to melt, you may want to add your slices right away. If you’re using regular processed Kraft, then wait until the bread is lightly browned underneath before adding the cheese.
- Layer kimchi over one slice only — this makes flipping the other one to combine them easier. Optionally, you can panfry the kimchi on its own to get it warmed up and add some crispy bits, as well as avoid sogginess. If you’re feeling really decadent you can panfry the kimchi in butter.
- Let the bread fry on the skillet until golden brown and the cheese is melted on top. Depending on your skillet, you may want to lower the heat at this point to medium-low or low heat to prevent burning. Finally, flip the cheese-only slice onto the kimchi-and-cheese slice (highly technical terms are these) to complete the sandwich, and press lightly on top with a spatula to get them to really squish together. Remove and let cool, then slice and serve!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best One-Pot Meal