Friday, March 11, 2011


Sometimes a girl just needs to eat something warm with minimal mess and effort...thank you grilled cheese sandwich. And like any true born and bred American, a large part of my diet revolves around peanut butter, and a large part of my time is spent thinking of new ways to incorporate peanut butter into my diet.
For a while now, I've been wanting to combine two of my favorite things-the warm toasty goodness of grilled cheese, and peanut butter. Although there are endless varieties of peanut butter sandwiches, the native voyage of my grilled peanut butter sandwich had be my classic, my favorite, my go to peanut butter sandwich...peanut butter and strawberry jam. I thought about it a lot in France, most of the key ingredients were available. France is home to delicious and cheap bread, butter that stands on its own (SO good you could eat it plain, not that I ever would...ahem), and jars of strawberry jam sold everywhere from huge supermarket chains to Sunday morning markets and all were amazing. The only thing missing was the peanut butter. Long before moving to France, I was introduced to French "peanut butter" by a David Sedaris story. This "peanut butter" is sold in a CAN, with a fat smiling kid on it, leading one to believe the French think peanut butter is something to be opened and eaten in one sitting. Mr. Sedaris did not fabricate anything. I saw those cans of peanut butter. I always meant to buy one, but I never did. I shouldn't judge something I've never eaten, but I knew that my grilled peanut butter sandwich could not be made using canned peanut butter.
Fast forward to Korea. Skippy PB (creamy or crunchy!) is widely available. However, the Korean butter is not so much creamy goodness, but rather more of an oily spread with an almost neon yellow color and the taste of slightly old dairy. And the bread is simply a flavorless vessel for whatever you want to put on it to get to your mouth. But my grilled peanut butter sandwich idea had waited long enough. So on my last trip to the grocery store, I got my ingredients. The next night, I buttered one side of the bread. I peanut buttered and jammed the other side. I buttered the top bread, and turned my stove down as low as it would go (and given the poor quality of my kitchen appliances, that is not actually low, but I've gotten quite good at balancing the pans mostly off the burner), put the lid on to ensure adequate peanut butter melting, and waited. And even with the less than mediocre Korean bread and butter, YUM! I am anxious to make it with good bread and actual butter. I am also anxious to expand and try a grilled peanut butter and banana, or peanut butter and honey, or peanut butter and pickle (my friend swears these are delicious).
I googled my sandwich, and found scores of recipes. My idea had been done before. I am not the culinary pioneer I thought I was. But that doesn't make me love it any less. I would have taken pictures, but it looked pretty unappetizing...and I'm lazy.