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Coat ’em, grill ’em, then enjoy ’em

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TRICIA HYATT recently requested a recipe for the special cheese sandwiches served at the King’s Food Host, a restaurant on Pembina Highway in the ’60s and ’70s where you ordered your food from a telephone in your booth. (Cool!) A little Internet research reveals that the sandwich was called a Cheese Frenchie, and was basically a grilled cheese given a boost with an egg dip and cornflake coating. The King’s Food Host version used American cheese and was deep-fried.

We have two reader versions, which are not deepfried (and maybe just as well), but do use an egg dip and crumb coating for extra crunch. Donna Lane offers a ham and cheese version adapted from a 1970 recipe in the Winnipeg Tribune, while Jeannette Johnston from Keewatin, Ont. adds some Italian flavours for a grilled cheese she likes to serve as a lunch dish with a green salad.

 

Italian grilled cheese sandwiches

4 slices Italian bread, cut 2.5 cm (1 in) thick

4 slices mozzarella or provolone cheese

3 eggs

125 ml (½ cup) 2 per cent milk

2 ml (½ tsp) garlic salt

3 ml (about ¾ tsp) Italian seasoning

150 ml (2/3 cup) seasoned bread crumbs

Cut a 7.5 cm (3 in) "pocket" slice horizontally on one side of the bread and place a slice of cheese in each pocket. In a shallow pan, whisk the eggs, milk, garlic salt and seasonings.

Soak bread slice for 2 minutes on each side, then coat with bread crumbs on both sides. Cook on a hot greased griddle until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.

 

Tester’s notes: A nice upgrade of the usual grilled cheese. This time I had too much egg-and-milk mixture, so you might want to start with just 2 eggs and a little less milk.

Cutting the pockets required a little delicate handling, but this system averts that occasional grilled cheese disaster when you flip the sandwich and everything falls out.

 

Italian grilled cheese sandwiches: cutting the pockets requires a little delicate handling.

Enlarge Image

Italian grilled cheese sandwiches: cutting the pockets requires a little delicate handling. (JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS) Photo Store

Crunchy ham and cheese sandwiches

1 L (about 4 cups) toasted rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies)

4 thin slices cooked ham

4 slices Swiss cheese

8 slices of day-old bread

1 egg, slightly beaten

45 ml (3 tbsp) milk pinch salt

57 g (¼ cup) butter, melted

Preheat oven to 230 C (450 F). Measure out cereal, then slightly crush until volume is reduced to about 500 ml (2 cups); set aside. Make 4 sandwiches with ham, cheese and bread. Combine egg, milk and salt in a shallow pan. Dip each sandwich in egg mixture, turning once, and then dip in crushed cereal to coat. Place in a single layer on a well greased baking sheet and drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 10 minutes or until crisp and light brown. Cut in half and serve.

 

Tester’s notes: Tasty and easy to make. This would be good served with a little chutney or some onion relish.

To crush the rice cereal, I placed it in a bag and bashed it with a rolling pin. I needed a little more egg-andmilk mixture, but of course amounts will depend on the size of the bread you’re using and can easily be adjusted.

 

This week Laura Mikuska is looking for a recipe made by her Slovak grandmother. Laura remembers that it used ham and eggs, was baked in an angel food cake pan, and had a firm consistency. Any ideas? If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you’d like to share, send an email to recipeswap@freepress.mb.ca, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.

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