Thanksgiving is in just one week, which means we’ve all got a whole lot of leftovers in our imminent future. I have always loved Thanksgiving leftovers, but they certainly lose their appeal after the second or third round. With that in mind, I’ve started to think about recipes that use Thanksgiving leftovers but with an end product that doesn’t feel like leftovers. Enter the cranberry grilled cheese, a deliciously gooey and tart sandwich that uses up your leftover cranberries (and comes together in a couple minutes!).
I came across the inspiration for this sandwich while on a long flight from L.A. to Chicago last week, which seemed to have a disproportionate number of screaming children and equally loud adults. I was lucky that I had two wonderful distractions to get me through the flight: this amazing book and the Bon Appetit Thanksgiving issue. Chock full of beautiful and creative ideas for the holiday, Bon Appetit’s recipe for a cranberry grilled cheese caught my eye immediately because of its simplicity. We all deserve an easy meal after a big day like Thanksgiving, don’t we? The sandwich comes together in just a couple of minutes, meaning you get to enjoy the days following Thanksgiving relaxing with your family (or waking up at 3am for a Black Friday sale…to each his own).
The nice thing about this sandwich is that you can easily customize the ingredients. I used chopped up fresh cranberries in mine (you’d think it would be too tart, but the maple mustard and sharp cheddar balance it out) but this would also be delicious with leftover cranberry sauce instead. The combination of cranberry and cheddar feels perfect to me, although I bet something like Swiss or Gruyere would be fantastic as well. Though I will say that you absolutely must add the maple mustard, because it really brightens up the sandwich with its sweet tangy flavor. So put your leftover cranberries to good use with this tasty little sandwich, sit back, and relax!
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 4 slices bread
- 1 cup sharp white cheddar, grated
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cranberries (or cranberry sauce)
- Butter (optional)
- In a small bowl, combine the dijon and maple syrup until blended.
- Add the maple dijon to two of the bread slices, followed by the cranberries and then the cheese. Top with the other slices (lightly buttered if desired).
- In a lightly greased pan, grill the sandwiches on both sides over medium heat until the bread is golden and the cheese has melted. Serve immediately.
Note: Adapted from the cranberry grilled cheese in Bon Appetit’s Thanksgiving 2014 issue.