Grilled Mac & Cheese

So Patti is off having lunch with a friend today, and it was up to me to make lunch for the girls. Anya suggested mac and cheese, but seemed less than thrilled with the idea. So I decided to dress it up a bit with a culinary experiment.

First, we made the mac and cheese per the directions on the box. While the macaroni was cooking, we got out bread, butter and cheese slices. Stella buttered the bread for me while I preheated the griddle to “medium” and allowed the cheese to warm up to room temperature from the fridge.

When the mac and cheese was ready, I threw two pieces of bread, butter side down, on the griddle and covered them with a layer of cheese — Monterey Jack this time, because that’s what we had on hand. Then we carefully scooped some of the mac and cheese on the top and spread it out to cover the entire sandwich. We then covered the mac and cheese with another layer of cheese slices. We finished by placing the other pieces of bread, butter side up, on top — completing the sandwich.

Since it was a bit thicker than a regular grilled cheese, I covered with a flipped over skillet to help the top layer of cheese melt. That might not have been necessary, but it didn’t hurt.

I flipped once after a few minutes when the underside was golden brown, and let the other side get toasted and melty. Then removed from heat and cut in two.

The kids were really eager to try the sandwiches, so we were successful in making mac and cheese exciting again. And, lo and behold, it tasted fantastic as well! Crunchy on the outside, cheesy on the inside. I don’t know how we could have messed up by adding melted cheese and fried bread, but you never know…

Final thoughts: This is a really easy way to get kids excited about a lunchtime staple that they may have gotten bored with. If I had to do it again, I’d make sure I had cheddar slices on hand, as that is my prefered cheese to grill. I’d like to have some fancier mac and cheese, but that might defeat the point of a simple lunch entree. I also want to try adding bacon at some point. I’m betting the saltiness would go pretty good with all that smooth cheese. And is there ever a wrong time to add bacon?