Weekend Cooking: Grilled Spinach, Pepper Jack, and Bacon from 150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches by Alison Lewis

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Weekend Cooking is a weekly feature hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Click here to check out Weekend Cooking posts from other bloggers.

book cover imageI won 150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in a blog giveaway just a few weeks before one of my adult daughters was diagnosed with celiac disease, so the cover photo that had looked so appetizing before, strikes me as a little suspect now. We will do a complete gluten-removing sweep before her next visit, so in the meantime I wanted to try out both the new cookbook and the cute little panini grill my husband got for Christmas. (Our spring weather, so far, is still chilly enough for grilled cheese.)

There’s something about grilled cheese (probably the grilled-in-butter and dripping-with-melted-cheese parts) that says “comfort food” to many people.

Additionally comforting to mediocre cooks, it’s really hard to mess up a grilled cheese sandwich! To try the recipe for Grilled Spinach, Pepper Jack, and Bacon, I used pesto made from the end of last summer’s basil that I had in the freezer. Once you know the name of the recipe and that it includes pesto, you pretty much know the ingredients for this sandwich. (The recipe suggests this sandwich be made with multigrain bread.)

Grilled Cheese 1
Spread pesto on both sides of the bread. Layer one side with cooked bacon, sliced cheese, and baby spinach.
Sandwiches ready to be grilled
Having both sides of the bread buttered before putting the sandwich together is the trickiest part.
Sandwiches after grilling in panini maker
Grilled and ready to eat!

Published by a Canadian publisher, 150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches lists ingredients in both U.S. and metric measurements. The cookbook itself doesn’t lie flat when opened, but the recipes don’t require you to refer back to the cookbook frequently while cooking, because you basically put the sandwiches together and then grill them. The index is very basic. For example, Easy Meatless Quesadillas is only indexed under “E”, not also under “Q”. But the cookbook is divided into sections that make it easy to find what you’re looking for and the design of the pages is very attractive. You can preview the cookbook on the publisher’s Web site.

I found lots of inspiration in 150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches for sandwich combination ideas – from the simple (e.g. Classic Grilled Two Cheese) to the more complicated (Three-Cheese Grilled Sliders with Compound Herb Butter). The cookbook includes recipes for condiments called for in other recipes such as Peach-Ginger Chutney, Sweet Pepper Relish, and Caponata Spread. The cookbook even includes ideas for sandwiches as appetizers (e.g. Grilled Brie with Chutney); breakfast (e.g. Muenster-Stuffed Raisin Bread); or dessert (e.g. Open-Faced Blueberry and Almond Sandwich). There are many vegetarian sandwiches, but there are recipes that include meat or fish, as well. This is a good cookbook to have on hand to make a quick and easy grilled cheese sandwich meal more interesting.

150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches includes some recipes from the author’s first cookbook, 400 Best Sandwich Recipes. Author Alison Lewis blogs about food, travel, and health at Ingredients, Inc.

150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Lewis, Alison
Robert Rose
October 2012
$24.95 USA, $24.95 Can., softcover

Disclosure: I won 150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches from the publisher through a 1000th Blog Post Celebration giveaway on Heather’s Books and Quilts, a blog I probably discovered through her links to Weekend Cooking on Beth Fish Reads.



11 thoughts on “Weekend Cooking: Grilled Spinach, Pepper Jack, and Bacon from 150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches by Alison Lewis”

    1. I used to note down sandwich combination ideas from takeout lunch menus because so many of them sounded so delicious. But then I would never have the alfafa sprouts, sliced turkey, sliced havarti, tomato, avocado, and fig chutney or whatever all on hand at the same time!

  1. Oh how fun. I am always looking for new ideas for grilled cheese – it’s one of the few things The Child will eat. I don’t have a panini press but my Foreman grill works great. Not classy, but efficient 🙂

    1. Yes, I tend to notice a good index. This one isn’t great, but on the other hand, it’s a very flippable book — easy to find the recipe you’re looking for by flipping through the appropriate section.

  2. HI Laurie,
    Glad to see you are enjoying the book. I bought hubby a copy at the same time I hosted the contest on my blog but haven’t been able to taste any of the recipes as the doctor has me on a totally dairy free diet for a while yet. The munster on raisin bread and the brie, nutella and raspberries are at the top of my list to try.

Would love to have you comment!