In honor of all things fair and equal, I figured I should come up with a Super Bowl snack for Green Bay. The first thing that came to mind was, of course, those cheese-head hats they wear. Google “food traditions” and “Green Bay” and you quickly discover they like a few things a lot in Wisconsin: beer, brats, and cheese. I immediately thought of a grilled cheese sandwich. They’re easy, delicious, versatile, and they make great party food.
Now, my daughter would prefer just cheese and bread, but I wanted to mix it up a little. While making sausages with peppers and onions for dinner the other night it popped into my head: grilled cheese with peppers and onions. Salty from the cheese, sweet from the peppers and onions. I also decided to add pesto as the sauce for the bread. I love using pesto on sandwiches. And, of course, the star of the show: sharp cheddar cheese.
This would make a great meal (we had it for dinner) or a great finger food for a party. And the great thing about grilled cheese sandwiches is you can make them however you want. These are a great vegetarian addition to a carnivore-laden Super Bowl party spread. Don’t like peppers? That’s okay, leave them out (plain grilled onions would be awesome too). Use sun-dried tomato pesto instead of regular. Add sliced turkey (obviously no longer vegetarian, but hey, you could make two kinds). Or, in honor of Green Bay, add sliced grilled brats (that were soaked in a beer bath, of course). I’m getting a vision for my next party: a grilled cheese bar. So many possibilities!
Green Bay Grilled Cheese
Wisconsin is known for its cheese – and the Green Bay Packers are known for their cheese-heads. Make this gussied up classic to celebrate Green Bay in the Superbowl.
1 tablespoon pesto (or thereabouts, if you like more, use more; if you like less, use less)
10-12 slices really good sliced sourdough, depending on size (or your favorite bread)
Butter, for coating sandwiches
1.Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add peppers and onion and cook about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. Remove cover, reduce heat to low and let liquid evaporate and veggies brown. Remove from heat. (This step can be done the day ahead. Refrigerate peppers and onions until ready to use.)
2.Preheat griddle or frying pan. Slice cheese and set aside. Spread each slice of bread with a thin coat of pesto. Assemble sandwiches with cheese and peppers. Spread tops of sandwiches with butter. Place butter side down on griddle. Cook until golden. Repeat on remaining side.
You can also do this in a panini maker or sandwich press. Just butter both sides and press until they are golden brown.
3.Cool slightly, slice before serving. This will make 4-6 good sized sandwiches, or you can slice them thin and serve as an appetizer.
Yield: 4-6 large sandwiches or about 12 small finger sandwiches, depending on bread size.