Patrick, my cashier at Trader Joe's (who hopefully doesn't mind me using his real name), noticed I was buying pimento cheese (srsly TJ's is THE SHIZ!), and he asked me if I'd ever made a.... wait for it... GRILLED PIMENTO CHEESE SANDWICH!!
I know, right?! I too was struck by the "why did I not think of that before?!" factor. I mean it is cheese after all, and the grilled cheese is the all-American sandwich. Well Patrick continued to tell me that he, like "most Yankees," doesn't really like pimento cheese (Attention any Yankee readers: Is this true?! Y'all ARE CRAZY! Go eat some pimento cheese for goodness sakes!). But, his wife convinced him to try the Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich at their local pub, and he was converted right then and there! So, of course I HAD to have it for dinner that night! Now, the only bread I had at home was Russian black bread, which I was afraid would over power the pimento cheese, but TJ's is really flavorful because they use aged white cheddar and a bit of cayenne pepper, so I took the chance...
First I had to decide between my George Foreman Grill, or my cast iron skillet. I decided to go pure old school, and picked the skillet. I put it on the stove to heat up, and melted a little butter in it to swirl my bread around in (I think it works better than trying to spread the butter on the bread, because my bread always crumbles). Then I assembled my sandwich, placed it in the heated skillet, and put a lid on top. I find this helps make sure all the cheese melts, and you don't end up with a cold, un-melted middle.
So each side needs about 2-3 mins depending on the type of bread you use and the thickness of the slices. Russian black bread can be a little dry, compared to other bread, so a little more time with the lid on helped soften it as well. Ok once the sandwich was cooked, I removed it from the skillet and placed it on my bamboo cutting board, where I let it set for a minute before cutting it in half, on the diagonal of course. I seriously could not wait to taste it... and it was AMAZING!
Seriously, I want to try so many other combos now - different bread, different pimento cheese. I think it would be amazing on sourdough or Italian bread, with a more traditional pimento cheese... Yum! Leave a comment if you have a combo you think I should try - especially if you've made one before or had one out at the pub. I want to hear your experience!