Let's get gooey: April is Grilled Cheese Month!
Now that we're recovering from our cupcake-induced coma and the sugar madness is slowly ebbing away, it’s time to get fatty again. April 1 marks the beginning of National Grilled Cheese Month, and perhaps nobody celebrates our gooiest national holiday better than Clementine.
This year, the Westside restaurant pays homage to retro Los Angeles by offering cheese-themed vintage postcards and 25 different grilled cheese sandwiches. There will be five new sandwiches per week with a weekly special created by a guest chefs such as Suzanne Goin (A.O.C., Lucques), Nancy Silverton (La Brea Bakery, Campanile, Mozza), Amelia Saltsman (author of "The Santa Monica Farmers' Market Cookbook"), Evan Kleiman (Angeli Caffé) and Jimmy Shaw (Loteria).
[More specifics on the sandwiches and info about the Grilled Cheese Invitational after the jump.]
The sandwich sampling includes grilled cheese al carbon with jack cheese, marinated steak, bacon, avocado and chopped onions served with smoky salsa; Camembert and mushrooms (Saltsman); soppresatta pepper jack with pickled Calabrian peppers on white corn rye bread from La Brea Bakery (Silverton); a classic Monte Cristo with house-made strawberry jam; chicharron de queso with cheese that's grilled until it’s crispy then tucked inside a torta with black beans, lettuce and pico de gallo (Shaw); and a combo beef dip/grilled cheese inspired by Philippe's that comes with hot mustard and pickled eggs. "I don’t know if anybody's going to order the pickled eggs, but they look pretty," says Clementine chef and owner Annie Milar. (Click here for a full roster of Clementine's sandwiches.)
If you want to try making your own grilled cheese masterpiece -- How hard can it be? It's just cheese, bread and heat… right? -- the Los Angeles Grilled Cheese Invitational returns on April 25 ($5 admission; $10 to compete). Get those irons ready.
And if you can't wait until then, here's Shaw's recipe for chicharron de queso.
-- Elina Shatkin
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Photo: Courtesy of Clementine