Grilled Grilled Cheese Spring Sandwich

Late last year I bought a slab of cast iron from the local home improvement mega store. The idea was not to buy a quality cooking griddle, but instead supplement my outdoor grill with a reasonably inexpensive multi-purpose cooking surface.

Delicate grill items, like veggies or fish are fine on aluminum foil, but I figured an outdoor flattop would be so much better.

If I recall correctly, I spent less than thirty dollars on a reversible barbecue griddle. The one I found that fit my dimensions was meant to match into a specific model of barbecue, but on its own sits just fine atop the grill I own.

I seasoned it up with a triple round of oil and heat. Smiled contentedly at my own ingenuity. Stored the griddle in inside the grill and then … winter hit.

Yesterday at lunchtime I was working from home, as usual. As I rummaged through the kitchen I discovered a loaf of freshly baked sourdough, some leftover Easter ham, a big block of cheddar cheese, and an abundance of painfully beautiful spring weather.

Inspiration struck.

I fired up the grill. Brushed the grill plates down a little (still crusty from the over-the-winter storage). And put some fresh oil on the slab of home improvement store cast iron.

I was rewarded for my efforts with a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, fresh off the backyard grill. Hot. Fresh. And in the fresh air.

Ain’t spring grand?

Ten Deliciously Bready Ideas for Using Your Cast Iron

I love sandwiches, wraps, and more. Putting almost anything between, atop, or inside bread …and toasting it up on a cast iron pan (of course!) makes for a great meal… or just a quick snack. Here are 10 Friday ideas for putting that iron to work for a hot treat.

1. Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Simple: bread, butter and cheese grilled on a hot pan and served with your choice of sauce, or just as is.

2. Inside Out Cheese Toasty. Hot iron meets an outer coat of shredded cheddar and the fried cheese goodness wraps the toasty bready middle.

3. Quesadilla. A hot pan fries up your fillings, then fold a tortilla in half, add some cheese and salsa, and toast to a crunchy finish.

4. Burrito. Fry your veggies. Fry your meat. Wrap tight and toast into a warm, toasty one-hand meal for home on on the go.

5. Panini. A specialty hot press or just an extra pan heated up, the pressed sandwich is great with all variety of fillings.

6. Meatball Sandwich. Orbs of pan-fried meat coated in a warm tomato sauce fill up a toasted bun and leave a delicious mess.

7. Egg Muffin. A fried egg. Some grilled ham. Stacked together and melted with cheese and served on a toasted English muffin is better than the drive thru version.

8. Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Fry up a bit of breaded chicken, smother in hot sauce, and squeeze it into a bun with some crisp lettuce for a worthwhile weekend lunch.

9. Calzone. Pizza dough, filled and folded, crimped around the edges into a sealed sandwich and finished in the oven.

10. Campfire Pie. A couple slices of white buttered bread pinch-seal a bit of hot fruity filling to warm you up around the evening fire.

People like lists. I like people. So I’m giving the people what they like. I ran a blog for 16 years and one of the most popular posts ever on that blog was a list of “100 things” that I’d compiled and posted. I’m trying to recreate something similar over the next couple months for the cast iron guy blog. This post will eventually form part of that mega list.