Friday, September 13, 2013

grilled cheese sandwiches with savory roasted apples + roasted sweet potato wedges

Last night, I made a dinner so good that even the babysitter asked for the recipe.

It started with (leftover) savory roasted apples. Each month, I am hired to create a recipe for our local market, Walter Stewart's. In addition to running into a handful of friends every time I shop there (making grocery marketing a-- dare I say it, fun-- social outing as well as a necessity!), I agree to do this because I know the family-owned market takes pride in stocking and showcasing seasonal-- and often local-- ingredients.

This month, I whipped up a batch of savory roasted apples to highlight local apples. It was a variation on a recipe I concocted back in 2011, when we had a glut of apples from a weekend apple-picking adventure, and I was trying to use them up in every possible form. This super easy side dish has now become one of our go-to's in the Fall because it's so easy, and my children LOVE it. (Another favorite apple side is Cider-Braised Cabbage and Apples.)

OK, so back to the sandwiches! As you all know if you read my blog, I've kind of been a cooking maniac this week, squeezing all of the recipes that will be spread over my 3-week Kitchen Coaching Program into a few days of testing them all-- and then some that didn't make the cut-- one more time before a test group of busy parents gives them a whirl. (They get 3 weeks to leisurely stock their freezers... I gave myself 2 days.) So, you'd think that I would have just hauled one of those meals out of the freezer for the sitter and kids to enjoy while I was at Middle School Parent's Night, but no....when I opened my fridge and saw a big bowl of leftover savory roasted apples, I knew I should use them up. And so, it was the incarnation of a gooey, sweet and savory sandwich...

And they were a hit.

I assembled them before running to pick up at after school activities, then baked them in 10 minutes so they were ready when the sitter got there.

Grilled Cheese with Savory Roasted Apples
(makes 4 sandwiches)

8 slices of your favorite bread
16 slices of your favorite cheese (I made 1/2 with brie and 1/2 with a smoked cheddar)
1 cup savory roasted apples
non-stick baking sheet

Preheat oven to 400. Place 1 slice of cheese on each slice of bread. Top with about 1/4 cup of savory roasted apples. Then, place another slice of cheese and second slice of bread on top of that. Bake for 5-7 minute, then flip, and bake for another 5-7 minutes, until bread is toasty and cheese is melted. Serve warm or room temp.

I also had a sweet potato in the pantry, so as a side dish, I quickly made:

Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges
(serve 4)

1 large sweet potato
canola oil spray
chili powder
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Cut sweet potato (skin on or off, your choice) into 1" wedges. Spray rimmed baking sheet with a bit of canola oil, place a single layer of sweet potatoes on baking sheet, sprinkle with spices, salt and pepper. Give the baking sheet a shake to distribute everything a bit more evenly. Roast for 10 minutes, turn the wedges over, and roast another 10 minutes. Sweet potatoes should be fork tender, meaning a fork pierces the sweet potatoes easily. Serve warm. 

Like I said, the meal was a total hit. So much so that the sitter asked for the recipe before she went home! Hope your family enjoys this casual Fall dinner as much as mine did.

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