The oldest diner sandwich in the book becomes a great summer meal when you make it live up to its name ― cook it on the grill. Vary the bread, cheese, and other fillings for a spread of sandwiches that will make everyone happy. Don't forget the potato chips and pickles.
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Prep and cook time: About 15 minutes
Makes: 4 sandwiches
8 slices rye bread (about 10 oz. total)
About 8 ounces cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
1 firm-ripe tomato (about 6 oz.), rinsed, cored, and thinly sliced
1/2 sweet onion (about 4 oz.), thinly sliced and separated into rings
About 2 tablespoons olive oil
1. For each sandwich, top a slice of bread with a thin layer of cheese, two tomato slices, a few rings of onion, and more cheese. Top with a second slice of bread. Brush both sides of the sandwich lightly with olive oil, then push two or three toothpicks all the way through the sandwich to secure.
2. Lay sandwiches over medium heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 4 to 5 seconds); close lid. Cook, turning to prevent bread from scorching (remove toothpicks when turning, if they catch on the grill), until sandwiches are well browned on both sides, with some darker grill marks in spots, and cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes total. Serve hot, while cheese is still melted.
Per sandwich: 491 cal., 51% (252 cal.) from fat; 21 g protein; 28 g fat (13 g sat.); 39 g carbo (5.3 g fiber); 826 mg sodium; 60 mg chol.
MORE GREAT SANDWICHES
Grilled ham and cheese
Use whole-wheat or walnut-wheat bread, sliced Swiss cheese, sliced good-quality deli ham (about 4 oz. total), and rinsed baby spinach leaves (about 1 oz. total). Spread slices of bread with Dijon mustard before filling.
Follow directions for grilled cheese sandwiches (preceding) to grill.
Per sandwich: 506 cal., 50% (252 cal.) from fat; 28 g protein; 28 g fat (12 g sat.); 36 g carbo (5.3 g fiber); 1,137 mg sodium; 67 mg chol.
Grilled Italian sandwiches
Use Italian or sourdough bread, drained fresh mozzarella cheese, strips of canned roasted red peppers, and rinsed fresh basil leaves (you'll need about 8). Follow directions for grilled cheese sandwiches (preceding) to grill.
Per sandwich: 439 cal., 47% (207 cal.) from fat; 18 g protein; 23 g fat (11 g sat.); 37 g carbo (2.5 g fiber); 677 mg sodium; 50 mg chol.