This one has a bit of a funny story behind it. On a long late-night plane ride up to a ski trip in Alaska, a dear friend of ours struck up the conversation of what would be considered acceptable food to bring onto an airplane. The debate raged on for hours, taking into consideration the smells, messiness potential, size, and how much garbage the meal would create. Would you open a can of tuna aboard a flight? Thoughts and opinions were exchanged, but the group ultimately did not come to a consensus. Turns out tolerances can be pretty high if the food is good enough. The ski trip was a resounding success, and the conversation certainly produced some thought about new recipes, and soon the Spicy Kimchi Grilled Cheese was born.
Yep, we get it, Kimchi can be pretty pungent, but get the right brand and it pleasantly adds some delicious depth to a very simple sandwich - the classic grilled cheese. We love to use our favorite PNW-local cheese, Beecher's Flagship, but any sharp cheddar will do.
It's easy to prepare a few of these for your crew on a big day in the mountains, or (I stand by this) a long flight to a faraway adventure.
Ingredients (makes 1 sandwich):
2 large slices sourdough bread
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 slices Beecher's Flagship white cheddar
1/4 cup of your favorite Kimchi (we're big fans of the Trader Joe's Kimchi)
1 tbsp of your favorite hot sauce
Preheat skillet to medium heat.
Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread, then press butter-side down onto hot skillet to brown the toast (1 minute).
Carefully sprinkle shredded cheese onto one slice, and lay Beecher's slices onto the other.
Once the cheese starts to melt (3-4 minutes), add kimchi and a dash of hot sauce atop the melted cheese.
Once toast is nicely browned, carefully flip and then stack one slice atop the other and press together with spatula.
Turn heat off and let grill for 2 more minutes.
Remove sandwich from skillet, cut in half and serve (or package tightly in foil for later).
Grilled cheese-fueled Alaskan spine skiing.