When you think of comfort food, what comes to mind? Mashed potatoes. Chicken soup. Pizza. Pasta. Certainly in that category is the grilled cheese sandwich. And, this caribbean grilled double cheese sandwich is something that you’d never expect to taste when you bite into it!
I have the privilege of doing cooking demos at ‘Live on Green’ in Pasadena, California. Live on Green is a three-day festival for families and children leading up to the iconic Rose Parade. There’s always so much to do, exhibits, face paintings, demonstrations, and every year the United States Air Force has been there. Young airmen, officers, and more all decked out in their fatigues or dress uniforms. Now, guess who gets to be taste testers at the cooking demos? Yep, these wonderful young men and women!
So, when this sandwich was made, it was served to a young Lieutenant. The runner took it hot from the grill where I was cooking on stage. The sandwich was simply perfect. So easy to make. And, everyone was really wondering, yes, you could see the look of confusion on their faces, how it would taste because in this sandwich were two caramelized grilled pineapple slices! Yes, a surprise ingredient sharing the buttery grilled sour dough bread and ooooeeee gooooeeee melted cheeses that would be unexpected!
Well, you should have seen the crowd as the sandwich was served. Everyone turned almost simultaneously in their chairs to look straight at the young man sitting off to the side with the other two taste testers. He took the sandwich. Picked up one half of it. Took a big healthy bite. Seconds passed. Chewing chewing. No words. And, then the MC said, ‘So how do you like it?’ His response, and I kid you not, was simply ‘OMG, OMG, OMG!’ Then he said, ‘It’s soooooooooo good and I never thought to put a pineapple on it!’ Yes, the young military man devoured the entire sandwich. And, yes, I had to make two more for the other two taste testers! Now, if that’s not enough convincing for you to try this recipe, then you’re gonna be missing a divine culinary experience!
- Makes: One Sandwich
- 2 Dole Sunshine Sliced Pineapples, drained and more moisture patted out with paper towels
- 1/16 (or large pinch) sea salt
- 1/8 tsp. coarse ground pepper
- 2 slices sourdough bread, artisan style preferred, sliced about ½ to ¾” thick
- 3 Tbl. butter, salted, room temperature for easy spreading
- 2 slices pepperjack cheese
- 2 slices sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup fresh spinach and arugula greens
- 3 Tbl. whipped cream cheese, optional
- Sprinkle the salt and pepper on the pineapple slice.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Let it get hot. Put one tablespoon of butter in the skillet and the pineapples. Grill on each side about 90 seconds. Remove to a plate. Reduce heat to medium low.
- Butter one side of each slice of bread. Start building the sandwich to grill.
- On the unbuttered side of one slice, put the pepperjack cheese slices. Add the seared pineapple slices. Add the cheddar cheese slices. Top with the greens.
- Put the whipped cream cheese on the unbuttered side of the top slice of bread (yes, your hand will get some butter on it from the other side). Place the whipped cream side on top of the greens (this will ‘glue’ the greens in place, too).
- Cover the sandwich with a lid for about 60-75 seconds or until golden brown on the bottom side.
- Carefully flip the sandwich with a spatula. Press down gently with a somewhat flexible egg flipper. Cover with the lid for about 60-90 seconds or until the bottom bread is crispy golden brown.
- Add more arugula greens to the sandwich by stuffing in/around the sandwich.
- Remove to a cutting board. Slice at an angle. Serve immediately.
If you want to add a protein like deli sliced smoked ham, turkey or another meat, that’s also an option. Fold over the meat slices and place on top the cream cheese when grilling.