National Grilled Cheese Month starts April 1, and there is no shortage of L.A. venues willing to indulge your annual crust lust.
Since 2000, Clementine's cozy and popular neighborhood cafe (now in two locations) has been offering grilled cheese menus that are possibly the greatest thing since sliced bread. Their 12th Annual Celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month is no exception.
CLEMENTINE "GRILLED CHEESE MONTH" MENU
- CLASSIC GRILLED CHEDDAR: Extra-sharp Tillamook white cheddar on country white bread.
- HOT DATE: Beemster goat gouda, medjool dates and applewood-smoked bacon on wholegrain bread.
- GHORMEH SABZI MELT: Fenugreek Edam with Persian braised lamb, spinach, red onion and herbs.
- YAM & CHEESE: WindsorDale Blue with roasted jewel yams, leeks and fried sage on country wheat bread.
- EAT YOUR BRUSSELS SPROUTS: Gruyère, brussels sprout leaves sautéed with grainy mustard and bacon on wheat levain.
- THE STUFFED MUSHROOM: Truffle gouda and a melange of mushroom-y goodness on buttery brioche.
- ANNIE'S OBSESSION: Quesadilla with shrimp, spicy salsa morita, avocado, chopped onion and cilantro.
- PRETZEL PAROXYSM: A twisted tumult of turkey, white cheddar, bacon and tomato relish grilled on a traditional pretzel.
- HUDSON'S DELUXE FRENCH ONION: Gruyère and caramelized onions, with braised beef brisket on wheat levain, served with rich beef jus for dipping.
The lone, vegan liferaft in a sea of enzymes is their "Primaverde" sandwich — a cashew cheese (or burrata) open-faced melter with sautéed pea tendrils, green garlic and favas on grilled country bread. Dolled-up classics like cheesesteak, tuna melt, and meatball also make an appearance.
GRILLED CHEESE INVITATIONAL
Grilled Cheese-ing takes a competitive angle this month as well when the 11th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational returns Los Angeles Center Studios on April 20.
Organizers of the sandwich competition are currently accepting applications for judges and champion contenders. Tickets for passive tasters also for sale.
Huffington Post had some excellent suggestions for starters:
- Grilled figs and cheese
- Blueberry and brie bites
- Hashbrown sandwich
- Sliced spinach and artichoke dip
- Fresh pesto melt
- Homemade processed cheese
But for truly inspired flavor combinations, you will need to go rogue. We suggest this strategy:
- Assess your fresh food supply (fruit, veggies, cheese, bread, herbs, butter).
- Take every condiment out of the fridge.
- Take every potential condiment out of the cabinet.
- Quietly throw away the shamefully expired items.
- Mix and match the pile of dressings, jellies, spreads, sauces, sweets and so on.
- Start pairing with fresh ingredients.
- Take notes.
- Put back the perishables.
- Butter both sides of the bread.
- Grill your combos.
- Report back.
Tell us: What's the best grilled cheese combo? Any disaster stories?