Kitchen Adventures: Hot, melted-sandwich goodness

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Food column by Becca Owsley

By Becca Owsley

Some days, there’s nothing like eating a good sandwich for dinner.

At the end of a long work day, most don’t have the energy or appetite for a big meal with all the fixings. On those days, a sandwich with something tasty on the side hits the spot.

The best sandwiches often are the ooey-gooey, hot, cheesy, melted kind. The perfect grilled cheese can be one of the best-tasting things in the universe. Add a little bacon and you’ve got the makings of something spectacular.

Any food that has bread grilled in butter with melted cheese inside has to be wonderful.

The same is true with Spinach and Artichoke Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. If you love spinach artichoke dip, you are going to love this sandwich.

Many people automatically tune out when spinach is mentioned, but it can be great in dips and dishes such as this sandwich. The recipe said it makes two sandwiches, but those are probably large ones. I was able to make about four medium-size sandwiches with these ingredients.

Putting too much of the filling between the slices of bread can result in a mess, so use discretion when piling on the good stuff.

Also, if you use thick slices, your bread may be grilled before the insides get warm and melted.

If you’ve ever wanted to smear spinach artichoke dip on bread and eat it as a sandwich, this is the recipe for you.

I followed the recipe pretty much as written except for adding sriracha. That isn’t because of the chili-smelling sriracha factory controversy in California. I simply didn’t use it because I didn’t want a spicy taste in this particular sandwich.

To go with the sandwich, I used a recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook. Paltrow — Pepper Potts in “Iron Man” — was in the news recently for her own controversy when she compared her parenting skills with those of non-celebrity parents. This food column seems to be unintentionally filled with controversy.

Paltrow’s recipe for No-Fry Fries are supposed to be a healthier alternative to french fries. The result tasted good, but many of the fries stuck to the baking pan.

In the end, the grilled cheese was a tasty treat and is a great addition to the list of delicious melted sandwiches.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

Spinach and Artichoke Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Splash of olive oil
1 small clove garlic
3 cups (or 3 big handfuls) baby spinach
4 slices bread
About 2 tablespoons cream cheese
1/3-1/2 cup grated or crumbled jack cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup coarsely chopped canned artichoke hearts, drained
1 heaping tablespoon sour cream
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sriracha
Large pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon butter, for grilling the sandwiches

In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add spinach leaves and sauté until wilted. This should happen quickly. Spinach just wilts in a hot pan. Remove spinach from skillet, place in a medium bowl and set aside.

Spread each slice of bread with a bit of cream cheese. You don’t need much.

Squeeze or press as much liquid as possible out of the canned artichoke hearts using a paper towel.

To the bowl of sautéed spinach add jack cheese, Parmesan cheese, chopped artichoke hearts, sour cream, sriracha and salt. Stir until combined.

Top two slices of bread with spinach and artichoke filling. Make sandwiches with the two remaining slices of bread.

Heat butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add sandwiches and grill until each side is golden and the insides are melty warm. Serve immediately.

Recipe from www.joythebaker.com

No-Fry Fries
2 large russet potatoes (2/3 pound each), peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut potatoes in half horizontally; cut each half into 1/3-inch-thick fries and place in a bowl of cold water. Remove from water and dry thoroughly. Toss with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place fries on a cookie sheet. Roast until browned and cooked through, turning occasionally, 25 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of “My Father’s Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness” by Gwyneth Paltrow found on www.self.com.