Concentrated merchandise, whether or not soups, pastes, or powders, are a few of my favourite components to work with. When you’re aware of their scope and energy, you possibly can dilute them as little or as a lot as you need. Within the case of tomato paste, you possibly can create soup, sauce, or cocktails, all with none extra tomato merchandise, however you can too use it as an intensely flavored accent for a grilled cheese sandwich.
Tomatoes and cheese are a dedicated couple. You’ll discover them hanging out on pizza, in caprese salads, and in bowls of pasta, however there’s something uniquely homey and comforting a few easy tomato soup and buttery grilled cheese sandwich. The tangy tomato and gooey cheese compete for dominance, so nobody taste lingers too lengthy on the tongue, which is what retains you going again for extra. I don’t at all times have tomato soup mendacity round, however I’m by no means with out a can of tomato paste.
I might use the paste to make a soup, however I might additionally simply smear it on my sandwich. I’ve smeared tomato paste on the within of a grilled cheese sandwich and I’ve smeared it on the surface of a grilled cheese sandwich, and each have their deserves.
Smear tomato paste on the surface of your grilled cheese for a pillowy, melty deal with
You realize that a part of the pizza the place the crust meets the inside portion of the pie? It’s darkish crimson, nearly burnt, however gentle and candy. That’s the taste and texture you get once you unfold tomato paste on the surface of your sandwich. The paste caramelizes—and can burn for those who’re not cautious—and the surplus moisture steams, relatively than fries, the bread, making a gentle chunk with a skinny, tomato-y layer that’s not robust sufficient to be known as a “crust,” although it does supply the slightest little bit of resistance when bitten.
Begin by spreading a teaspoon of paste on the “exterior” of every piece of bread. Soften a tablespoon of butter in a nonstick pan over medium-low warmth and add the primary piece of bread, paste facet down. Add a pair slices of your favourite melting cheese—I like white American, however shredded mozzarella could be enjoyable—and place the second piece of bread, paste facet up, on prime of the cheese.
Maintain a really shut eye on this sandwich, peaking beneath it each minute or so till you begin seeing little burnt spots. Raise the sandwich out of the pan, add a little bit extra butter, then flip it again into the pan and prepare dinner till the paste darkens and the cheese is absolutely melted. Eat instantly.
Smear tomato paste inside your grilled cheese to maximise taste and crispiness
Spreading tomato paste on the surface of your grilled cheese creates a sandwich with a certain quantity of caprice, however the bread turns into pillowy and tender, and a few individuals can not eat a sandwich until it makes that “ccccchhhhh” sound once you run a knife throughout the highest. (Such is the affect of TikTok.)
In case you are the latter, don’t despair: You possibly can nonetheless take pleasure in this streamlined deal with. Begin by including two tablespoons of paste to a nonstick pan, together with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook dinner over medium warmth till the paste darkens and shade or two, then unfold it on the within of 1 slice of sandwich bread. Construct and grill your grilled cheese nonetheless you normally would. For me, this implies a number of butter, and no mayo. (I like mayo in nearly each software, however a grilled cheese sandwich just isn’t considered one of them.)
You’ll get a grilled cheese sandwich with a crispy, buttery exterior, and gooey and melted on the within, with a layer of tangy, caramelized tomato taste that’s harking back to tomato soup, with none dunking. Although you possibly can actually dunk for those who please. There’s nothing incorrect with doubling up on tomato.