Picture this with me, please. The world’s best grilled cheese sandwich, cooked to perfection with lots of creamy melted cheese, just the right amount of sweet tomato, all gathered between soft country bread that has been cooked to just the right amount of toasty goodness. We’ve all been there, right? Now take all that deliciousness and imagine it for supper, but not as a sandwich. Nope, imagine it as a casserole, full of grilled cheese sandwich wonderfulness, but bubbling away in your oven. I know. I know!!
I wish I could say that this piece of brilliance was my idea, but it belongs to my friend Chris, whose new cookbook THE PREPPY COOKBOOK is one of my new faves. As soon as I got my hands on this cookbook I knew this recipe was going to the top of my must-make list. But before I made it I asked Chris if I could add a few twists of my own, and because she is one of my kitchen soul-sisters she told me to go for it! So the recipe below is my version of her fabulous original version, and I highly recommend getting your mitts on her cookbook, making both kinds and having a taste-test.
I started with the basic ingredients for the classic sandwich: nice bread, some Velveeta cheese (yes, I know, but I firmly believe some things just require Velveeta. It’s gentle and creamy and it melts up like a champ), and a couple of juicy beefsteak tomatoes. Then I added some milk and eggs to the picture, because I wanted the bread to not only be toasty on the top but also soft and creamy in the center. Think french toast, or bread pudding. I cut the bread up in nice big cubes and soaked those cubes in the milk and egg mixture while I was getting the rest of the ingredients ready.
The assembly is about as easy as it gets…butter up your favorite casserole, and stir together those egg-and-milk-soaked bread cubes, some tomato chunks and a general amount of cubed Velveeta. Spoon it all into the casserole, dot it with butter, grind some pepper on top and pop it in the oven. About 20 minutes later the bread cubes will be toasty, the cheese will be melting and bubbly, the tomatoes will be sweetly soft and the words “grilled cheese sandwich” will have a whole new meaning for you.
So casserole-up your grilled cheese sandwich. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks.
Adapted from the fabulous THE PREPPY COOKBOOK by Christine Nunn
- 4 cups cubed bread (I used ciabatta bread, but any nice country bread will do!)
- 2 beefsteak tomatoes, cut into chucnks
- 8 ounces Velveeta, cubed
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup milk
- 3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
- Fresh ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 and butter a 2 quart casserole
- Mix egg and milk together. Put bread cubes in a mixing bowl and pour the egg mixture over them and stir. Let sit for 20 minutes so the bread can soak up the egg.
- When the bread is nice and soaked, stir in the cheese and the tomatoes. Pour the whole mixture into the buttered casserole and top with butter. Grind some fresh ground pepper on top.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cool for five minutes and serve!