Kindergarten is a weird place, guys.
I was reminded of this yesterday when a licensed physician flipped my eyelids out. On purpose.
And then when I came thisclose to puking all over his expensive eye exam equipment was like, "Oh, you didn't do this when you were five?"
Uh, no. Obviously not.
While we're at it, I also didn't crack my knuckles, cross my eyes, or have any double jointed abilities. And my mother never let me play with Play-doh.
I think that probably explains a lot.
Anyways, what I learned from this experience is that, when looking back, the things that you thought were kind of cool in kindergarten...are actually kind of gross in real life. (And that next time you should take a valium before going to the ophthalmologist. But that's another story for another day.)
Except for grilled cheese.
Grilled cheese. Is. Timeless.
I love it stuffed with American cheese and tomatoes (classic). I love it stuffed with straight up cheddar (also classic). AND I love this more adult version that I've created, which is stuffed with caramelized leeks, apples and gruyere. The leeks become almost buttery in the way of caramelized onions, which is complimented perfectly by the tart apples and the nutty melty heavenly cheese.
And pulling it out at your next holiday fiesta is a way cooler party trick than any of this eyelid flipping business (gag). That is, given that you're a female above the age of fourteen or a male above the age of twenty three. Though really, given The.Boy.'s reaction (something along the lines of "oh man, that is so AWESOME")...I'm not sure they ever grow out of it.
Apple, Leek and Gruyere Grilled Cheese
Serves 4, inspired by a leek and apple gratin in Ripe but largely an Eats Well With Others Original
- 4 large leeks, white and light green parts only, quartered lengthwise
- 1 tbsp butter, plus more for the bread
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium Granny Smith apple, unpeeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 8 oz Gruyere, shredded
- 1 loaf good hearty bread (I used a rosemary-infused loaf from Whole Foods)
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil.
- Rinse the leeks well, separating them into layers and washing each. Blanch them in the boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain them and run them under cold water for a minute or so. Dry well with paper towels. Chop the cooked leeks into smaller, more bite-sized pieces.
- In a large nonstick saucepan, heat the butter and the olive oil until melted. Add the leeks and nutmeg to the pan, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat until the leeks are caramelized and starting to brown in places, about 5 minutes. Add in the apple slices and saute until they are soft, another 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place 1/4 of the leek/apple mixture on one slice of bread. Top with some of the shredded Gruyere.. Place another slice of bread on top to form a sandwich. Using a thin pat of butter, lightly butter each side of the sandwich. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add sandwich to the skillet, pressing it down with a spatula as it cooks, about 2-3 minutes on each side or until the cheese is melted and the outsides are crusty.