Winter – an annoying friend that can’t take a hint. No matter how much you hang out, they just can’t seem to leave you alone. And seeing fresh snow on the ground in March is when you start to get real annoyed and declare that you need to take a serious break from one another.
But Winter isn’t going away without a fight. As the wind whips outside, it whispers a haunting refrain:
~~~ “You’ll miss me when I’m gone.” ~~~Hardly, right? I’m one of the worst winter people out there.
Sports? Too cold. Vacation down south? No money.
Ahh but I was forgetting what I do love about winter – unapologetic hibernation. Staying inside all day with no guilt. Eating whatever you please, knowing it’s good for you if it keeps you warm. Re-watching every sitcom ever in it’s entirety at least 4 times.
Winter was warning me! ~~~ “Soon the birds will chirp in the mornings, and your neighbours will talk to you again. Your precious anonymity will disappear, and people will expect you to show up to things.” ~~~ (Winter sounds like Gandalf).
So if you’re also experiencing what one can only hope is the last cold snap of the season, embrace it, and make this Grilled Cheese with Banana. Grilled cheese lends itself to being eaten during a period of great sloth. It takes virtually no effort to make or eat, and if you leave the ingredients out, you can just go ahead and make another one. And while you may not trust the flavour combo, give it a try – the bananas are a great foil to all of that gooey Gruyère, and a reminder of the warm weather that will bestow us again.
Now grease up your frying pan, slice the bananas and grate the cheese (better grate extra right away). Cue Season 1 of Roseanne and put your phone on silent, cause you’re hanging out with winter tonight (but hopefully for the last time in a while.)
Grilled Cheese with Banana
Makes 1 sandwich
2 slices of bread (I used Rudolph’s Bavarian)
3-4 tablespoons butter, spreadable (If using unsalted butter, make sure to salt your sandwich after adding the bananas)
1/3 cup grated Gruyère cheese (or Comté)
1/2 medium banana, sliced (I like to use a banana that has just lost it’s green)
Pinch of chili flakes (optional)
Sea salt, to taste
1. Place frying pan over low-medium heat.
You want the butter to sizzle slightly as it hits the pan, but not brown in a matter of seconds. If it’s too hot, take the pan off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
2. Spread each piece of bread with 1 tablespoon of butter.
Definitely spread the butter on the outside – spread on the inside of the bread as well for extra decadence.
3. Assemble the grilled cheese.
Sprinkle the cheese on one piece of bread, and arrange banana slices over top. Sprinkle with chili flakes if using. Top with remaining piece of bread.
4. Place the remaining tablespoon of butter in the frying pan. Allow to melt. As above, if butter is browning too quickly take pan off the heat and let it cool down slightly. Nothing ruins a grilled cheese like an overly hot pan.
5. Place the grilled cheese in the pan, and cook until cheese is melted and bread is toasty.
Around 5 minutes a side.
6. Slice in half and serve with whatever you please.
This tastes great with ginger jam, mango chutney or a papaya-based hot sauce like Mado’s.
♠For alternative cheese options, try anything with a bit of funk:
Blue cheese (you’ll probably want to mix with some mild cheddar to mellow the flavour if it’s a strong blue)
♠Pictured with peppery greens (watercress) and banana chips.
♠Try this with a creamy stout, or if you’re really not going outside for a while, a bottle of sparkling wine.