19 August 2012

Grilled Mozzarella and Avocado Sandwiches

A few nights ago, amidst the mid-evening spell of a New York breeze, I got a hankering for fall. That often comes in August, when you can smell even a tiny shift in the air, like something on the verge. I put a shawl around me not because of the AC cranked too high in an office space, but because of the first breeze of something lovely and bountiful and forthcoming and a tad chilled in it's suspension. And yet, I made it to the beach yesterday for possibly the last time (...but hopefully not!) this summer proper

This summer,  I have had in my surroundings, a grill that I don't use nearly enough--I am an oven-roasting fanatic even in the heat. Yet the last few weeks I've decided to conquer my apprehension about dealing with propane solo and actually used the grill quite a bit-- for corn, wild salmon, and finally, a sandwich.

There are some advantages to doing a sandwich on the grill rather than stove top, namely you can use a bit less butter, and it will cook more quickly. And the other thing is, you'll get some wonderful grill marks that aren't infringed upon by the bottom of a frying pan, even a grill pan. The heat from the grill will directly hit the exposed bread between the grate and fire it up rather intensely.

Grilled Avocado and Mozzarella Sandwiches

4 slices good, rustic bread (I used Amy's Organic Miche)
1 T melted butter
4-6 medium slices fresh mozzarella
1/2-1 small avocado
*2 T caramelized onions
Small handful fresh basil, chopped
Pinch coarse sea salt

*To caramelize onions, heat a wide skillet over medium, oil it and add a few chopped onions, cook at this evel until translucent, about 5-10 minutes, add salt, simmer for up to an hour for best flavor. Cool and store in a jar in the fridge. 

Pre-heat your grill, and then get to assembling. Lay out the bread, smash the avocado in a little dish, add a tad of salt, and set aside. Melt the butter in a microwave and then spread a little on each side of the bread. You want to give it a tad of slickness but not lather it. Spread on a spoonful of caramelized onion, top with avocado and then mozzarella. If you're feeling a little decadent, spread a bit more onion and avocado on the other slice of bread, and top it on the other half. Repeat with other sandwich. Place on the grill, put a dish and a heavy object like a pan on top, close the grill, check after a minute or two. These won't take long. Remove the dish and heavy pan, flip the sandwich and repeat on the other side. Serve with roasted carrot fries.