Valentine’s Day is coming up and you know what that means, collegiettes! Or do you? In many countries, the feast day of St. Valentine celebrates all kinds of love, but here in the states that kind of inclusivity mostly dies out after elementary school, when decorating a tissue box and handing out Disney cards to all your classmates wasn’t yet tainted by romantic or sexual expectations. One thing we can all agree to love: grilled cheese. Whether you split one with a special friend or devour it alone while watching Law and Order: SVU, you’ll feel the love with these warm, toasty creations.
California Crush: Sharp Cheddar with Bacon and Avocado
The bread: multi-grain, the kind with lots of nuts and seeds. Not for the kosher among us, this grilled cheese is Vermont-meets-California with crispy bacon because, well…it’s bacon. Make sure each piece of bread gets a slice of cheese to ensure that the cheese melts into a pocket around its bulky content.
Heart-y Beet: Goat Cheese with Beet and Arugula
The bread: Thick slices of farmer’s market bread.
Step 1: Snag some sliced or cubed raw beets from the Diana Cafe of Hewitt. Drizzle them in olive oil and roast them for about 20 minutes on 350 degrees. You may want to line the pan with foil, since beet juice stains easily (and is delicious!) I’ve simplified the beet-cooking process for the sake of your sanity, but for the original recipe look here.
Le Pain d’Amour: Gouda with Mushroom and Onion
The bread: pretty much any kind…but I’d use wheat.
The key to this grilled cheese is caramelizing the onion with the mushrooms. What’s caramelizing, you ask? Basically, you bring out the natural sugars of the onion by thinly slicing it and sauteeing it over low heat for a long time. Here’s a handy guide. It’s worth the effort for taste alone, but you can also make a big panful and save the rest for omelets, pizzas, and more grilled cheeses! (Pic: recipegirl.com)
The Odd Couple: Parmesan and Dark Chocolate
The bread: Thinly-sliced white
Sounds weird, but…kinda good, right? Worry not, this unusual finding has been scientifically proven. Chocolate with around 67% cacao (technically “semi-sweet”) is best. For the last three recipes, olive oil would work great for grilling the sandwich, but here I only recommend using butter.