Thursday, January 24, 2019

Comfort Grilled Cheese and More Sandwich #recipe from Linda Wiken, author

We've had a rough week here trying to cope with the worst winter storm conditions in over a hundred years. Truly. The combined freezing temperatures and winter storm drove me into hibernation. And what goes better at times like this than comfort food.

For me, it's my version of a grilled cheese sandwich, and that seems to change every time I make it. The constants are bread and cheese, of course. Then, I usually add something that my good friend Mary Jane Maffini does, slices of green apples.

And, this time, just because I wanted something a bit different, and mainly because this is what I had in the fridge, I started with green relish, basil pesto aioli, and added some shaved Black Forest ham, and fresh basil leaves.

The result -- delicious, and comforting! I know, it's all pretty basic but what makes each grilled cheese sandwich a work of art is what you add to it.

What do you add when your grilled cheese goes rogue?

What you'll need:  (quantities determined by the size of the bread)

2 slices bread
2 slices cheese - I used jalapeno havarti
shaved Black Forest ham
3 thin slices Granny Smith apple
3 fresh basil leaves
green relish
Basil Pesto Aioli

What to do:

While the pannini grill, or whatever you're using, is heating - spread green relish on one slice of bread and Basil Pesto Aioli on the other.

Place one slice of cheese on one slice of bread and top with the ham, apples slices, another cheese slice, and basil leaves. Introduce the Aioli side to the stack of  delicious ingredients.

When grill reaches preferred temperature, place the sandwich inside for approximately 5 minutes. It takes best if the cheese is oozing out the sides!


(please note -- you may want to butter the outsides of the sandwich for a more polished look; I chose not to. Both ways work.)

Breaking news --  coming in March, the first of the Castle Bookshop Mysteries 
written by Essie Lang (that's me!)

              Dine out with the DINNER CLUB MYSTERIES

Here's a taste of the reviews for Marinating in Murder, #3:     

Wiken’s third entry to the Dinner Club series is a clever twist on the classic whodunit… The book will have you guessing until the very end…. All in all, an intriguing read by Wiken.” – RT Reviews

"Foodies will love this book and this series. Great recipes are included as well....A fun romp of intrigue filled with foodie fun." -- Open Book Society

ROUX THE DAY,  the second  Dinner Club Mystery is available in paper and as an e-book. 
Recipes included!

TOASTING UP TROUBLE, the first in the Dinner Club Mysteries is available at your favorite bookstore and on-line, as a paperback and as an e-book.  
Recipes included!

Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

Visit Linda at
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at

Visit Erika at 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase.


  1. Grilled cheese is my top comfort food to make! I normally have tomato soup with it.
    I am so excited about your new series!

    1. Thanks, Deb. I hope you'll enjoy the new series. Tomato soup also ranks high on the comfort food list!

  2. I love grilled cheese sandwiches! Thanks for adding a new version to my repertoire ~

    1. Hope you enjoy the mix, Celia. Who knows where it will lead!

  3. I love grilled cheese on sourdough bread! I have added tomato & bacon. The best were sandwiches my son & daughter made me :)

  4. Grilled brie on Jewish rye bread, with some good ham . . . some Dijon mustard


    1. I'm amused by the idea of ham on Jewish rye!

    2. Yum, Dijon...another go-to for me.

  5. My favorite (although almost all are winners) is from an out of the way eatery in Maine. Sharp cheddar cheese, slices apple, sliced onion.
    I'm wondering. What is "the Aioli slice"? I know aioli as a mayo type condiment. How does it become a slice?

    1. Don't you love typos, Libby? NOT! Should have been "side".

  6. Yours is a great grilled cheese gone rogue. Mine was extra sharp cheddar, slivers of red onion, mounded thin slices of ham, roast beef, or corned beef, a few slices of pickled hot peppers, horseradish and parsley mayo on dark bread. It is usually the fulfillment of a midnight craving.

  7. Thanks for sharing ! Your grilled cheese,looks delicious!
    jalapeno harvati,I had never seen that kind before. I'm a big fan of dill harvati. What type of bread did you use? It looks tasty!
    I've done pbj grilled,tomato and cheddar grilled cheese,pizza inspired (mozzarella slices, pizza sauce,mushrooms and pepperoni) grilled cheese,etc...
    Good luck with your new book series ! It looks like the perfect book to read on these cold winter days!

    1. My bread is organic spelt and oats. Not t he best shape for sandwiches but I love it. You've been adventuresome.
      Thanks for your good wishes for the series! I hope you'll give it a try.