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If you love grilled cheese sandwiches, you’re going to love this recipe for Toum Grilled Cheese. It’s a simple but amazing way to take your grilled cheese game to the next level. All you need is some bread, cheese, and toum.
What is toum, you ask? Toum is a Lebanese garlic sauce that’s made with nothing but garlic, oil, lemon juice, and salt. It’s creamy, tangy, garlicky, and absolutely addictive. It’s also vegan and egg-free, making it a great alternative to mayonnaise or butter.
Toum is traditionally served with grilled chicken, but it also works wonders with grilled cheese. It adds a burst of flavor and moisture to the bread, while complementing the gooey cheese perfectly. Trust me, once you try toum grilled cheese, you’ll never go back to plain grilled cheese again.
In this article, I’ll show you how to make toum at home, how to make toum grilled cheese, how to serve and enjoy it, and what are some of the benefits of this delicious sandwich. I’ll also share some other ways to use toum in your cooking. Let’s get started!
How to Make Toum at Home
Making toum at home is easier than you might think. You only need four ingredients: garlic, oil, lemon juice, and salt. You’ll also need a blender or food processor, a tall container or jar, a rubber spatula, and some measuring spoons.
Here are the steps to make toum at home:
- Peel about 12 cloves of garlic (or one medium head) and cut them in half. Remove the green germ if you see any, as it can make the sauce bitter.
- Place the garlic, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 tablespoon of water in the container or jar. Blend with an immersion blender or food processor until smooth.
- Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes to let the garlic mellow out a bit.
- Pour 1 1/2 cups of neutral oil (such as grapeseed or canola) on top of the garlic mixture. Lower the blender or food processor to the bottom of the container or jar.
- Turn on the blender or food processor and keep it still until you see the mixture start to thicken and turn white. This means that it’s emulsifying.
- Slowly tilt the blender or food processor to incorporate more oil into the mixture. Then slowly lift it up until all the oil is blended in. You may need to plunge it up and down a few times to make sure everything is well combined.
- You should end up with a thick, white sauce that looks like mayonnaise. Stir it well with a spatula and taste it. Adjust the salt and lemon juice as needed.
- Transfer the toum to a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate until ready to use.
Some tips and variations for making toum:
- The key to making toum is adding the oil very slowly and blending it well with the garlic mixture. If you add the oil too fast or move the blender too much, the sauce may break or separate.
- If your sauce does break or separate, don’t panic. You can try to fix it by adding some ice water (about 1/4 cup) and blending it again until it comes together.
- You can also try adding some more garlic or lemon juice if your sauce is too thin or oily.
- You can make your toum more or less garlicky by adjusting the amount of garlic you use. You can also add some herbs (such as parsley or mint) for extra flavor.
- You can store your toum in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
How to Make Toum Grilled Cheese
Now that you have your homemade toum ready, you can make your toum grilled cheese sandwich. You’ll need some bread (preferably from a rustic loaf), some cheese (I like Muenster for its mild flavor and meltiness), some cornichons (or pickles of your choice), some more toum (of course), some salt, a knife, a cutting board, a skillet, and a spatula.
Here are the steps to make toum grilled cheese:
- Cut two slices of bread from your loaf, no more than 1/2 inch thick each.
- Cut three slices of cheese from your block, about 1/8 inch thick each.
- Cut four cornichons lengthwise into thin slices.
- Spread one tablespoon of toum evenly on one side of each bread slice.
- Place one slice of bread on your cutting board, toum-side up.
- Arrange two slices of cheese on top of the bread slice, covering it as much as possible.
- Place the cornichon slices on top of one half of the cheese layer.
- Fold over the other half of the cheese layer on top of the cornichons.
- Place another slice of cheese on top of that.
- Carefully place the other bread slice on top of the cheese layer, toum-side down.
- Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.
- Carefully transfer the sandwich to the skillet and press it lightly with a spatula.
- Cook for about 4 minutes, or until the bottom bread slice is golden and crisp.
- Carefully flip the sandwich over and cook for another 4 minutes, or until the other bread slice is golden and crisp and the cheese is melted.
- Transfer the sandwich to a plate and cut it in half if you like.
- Enjoy your toum grilled cheese with some more toum for dipping if you want.
Some tips and variations for making toum grilled cheese:
- You can use any bread or cheese you like for this sandwich, as long as they are suitable for grilling. Some other good options are sourdough bread, cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, or mozzarella cheese.
- You can also add some other ingredients to your sandwich, such as ham, bacon, tomato, spinach, or avocado. Just make sure they are thinly sliced or cooked beforehand so they don’t make the sandwich too thick or soggy.
- You can adjust the amount of toum you use according to your taste. You can also spread some butter or mayonnaise on the outside of the bread slices instead of toum if you prefer a more traditional grilled cheese.
- You can cook your sandwich in a panini press or a toaster oven if you have one. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions and adjust the cooking time as needed.
How to Make Barbecue Toum Grilled Cheese with Grilled Veggies
Toum grilled cheese is a delicious sandwich that combines the creamy and tangy Lebanese garlic sauce with gooey cheese and crispy bread. But did you know that you can make it even more delicious by cooking it on a barbecue and adding some grilled veggies?
Here’s how to do it:
- First, you’ll need to make some toum, or use store-bought if you prefer. Toum is a simple sauce made with garlic, oil, lemon juice, and salt. You can find the recipe in this article or online. You’ll also need some bread, cheese, and cornichons for your sandwich. You can use any bread or cheese that melts well and has a mild flavor, such as sourdough bread, Muenster cheese, or cheddar cheese. Cornichons are small pickles that add some crunch and acidity to your sandwich. You can also use regular pickles or skip them if you don’t like them.
- Next, you’ll need to prepare some vegetables for grilling. You can use any vegetables that grill well and have a nice flavor and texture, such as zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, bell peppers, or onions. Cut them into thin slices or chunks and toss them with some oil, salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs or spices. You can also add some lemon juice or vinegar for some extra tang.
- Then, you’ll need to preheat your barbecue to medium-high heat and get ready to cook your sandwich and veggies. You’ll need a grill pan or a sheet of aluminum foil to prevent the cheese from dripping onto the coals. You can also use a grill basket or a sandwich press to keep the sandwich together. Spread some toum on one side of each bread slice and assemble your sandwich with cheese and cornichons. Place it on the grill pan or foil and cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. Flip it carefully with a spatula or tongs.
- While your sandwich is cooking, you can also grill your veggies on the barbecue. Place them directly on the grill or on another grill pan or foil and cook for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, or until they are tender and charred. You can also brush them with some more oil or lemon juice halfway through for more flavor.
- Once your sandwich and veggies are done, transfer them to a plate and cut your sandwich in half if you like. Enjoy your barbecue toum grilled cheese with some more toum for dipping if you want. Serve it with your grilled veggies on the side or inside your sandwich for extra flavor and texture. You can also serve it with some fresh salad, cold drinks, and good company.
This is a fun and easy way to make a delicious meal with toum grilled cheese and grilled veggies on a barbecue. It’s perfect for a summer day or any day when you want something tasty and satisfying. Try it out and let me know what you think!
How to Serve and Enjoy Toum Grilled Cheese
Toum grilled cheese is a satisfying and delicious meal on its own, but you can also serve it with some accompaniments and sides to make it even more enjoyable. Here are some suggestions:
- Salad: A fresh and crunchy salad is a great way to balance out the richness of the grilled cheese. You can make a simple green salad with lettuce, cucumber, tomato, and your favorite dressing. Or you can try a more flavorful salad with ingredients like kale, quinoa, feta cheese, olives, and lemon vinaigrette.
- Soup: A warm and cozy soup is a classic partner for grilled cheese. You can go for a creamy soup like tomato soup, potato soup, or broccoli cheddar soup. Or you can go for a chunky soup like minestrone soup, chicken noodle soup, or lentil soup.
- Chips: A crispy and salty snack like chips is always a good idea with grilled cheese. You can choose from a variety of flavors and textures, such as potato chips, tortilla chips, pita chips, or veggie chips. You can also dip them in some more toum for extra flavor.
- Fruit: A sweet and juicy fruit is a nice way to end your grilled cheese meal. You can choose from seasonal fruits like berries, melons, peaches, or grapes. Or you can make a fruit salad with your favorite fruits and some yogurt or whipped cream.
How to store and reheat leftovers
If you have any leftover toum grilled cheese sandwiches, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat them, you can either microwave them for about 30 seconds per side, or toast them in a skillet over low heat for about 2 minutes per side.
Benefits of Toum Grilled Cheese
Toum grilled cheese is not only delicious but also beneficial for your health and well-being.
Here are some of the benefits of this sandwich:
- Nutritional value: Toum grilled cheese provides you with protein, calcium, iron, vitamin C, and antioxidants from the cheese, bread, garlic, and lemon juice. These nutrients can help you maintain your muscle mass, bone health, immune system, and skin health. Of course, you should enjoy this sandwich in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.
- Vegan-friendly and egg-free: Toum grilled cheese is a great option for vegans and people who are allergic to eggs. Toum is made without any animal products or eggs, unlike mayonnaise or butter. You can also use vegan cheese and bread to make your sandwich completely plant-based.
- Fun and easy way to use up garlic: If you have a lot of garlic in your pantry or garden, toum grilled cheese is a fun and easy way to use it up. You can make a large batch of toum and store it in the fridge for later use. You can also freeze it in ice cube trays and thaw it as needed.
- Delicious and satisfying: Toum grilled cheese is simply delicious and satisfying. It has a wonderful combination of flavors, textures, and aromas that will make your mouth water. It’s also filling and comforting, perfect for a quick lunch or a cozy dinner.
Other Ways to Use Toum
Toum is a versatile sauce that can be used in many other ways besides grilled cheese. Here are some other ways to use toum in your cooking:
- As a dip, spread, or sauce: Toum is great as a dip for bread, crackers, chips, or veggies. You can also spread it on sandwiches, wraps, burgers, or pitas. Or you can use it as a sauce for pasta, rice, noodles, or salads.
- As a marinade or rub: Toum is great as a marinade or rub for grilled meats, such as chicken, beef, lamb, or fish. You can also add some herbs and spices to it for extra flavor. Just coat your meat with toum and let it marinate for at least an hour before grilling.
- As a salad dressing or sandwich condiment: Toum is great as a salad dressing or sandwich condiment. You can thin it out with some water or vinegar if you want a lighter consistency. You can also add some honey or maple syrup if you want a sweeter taste.
Toum grilled cheese is a delicious twist on a classic sandwich that you should try at least once in your life. It’s easy to make with homemade or store-bought toum, bread, cheese, and cornichons. It’s also nutritious, vegan-friendly, egg-free, and fun to eat.
You can serve toum grilled cheese with some salad, soup, chips, or fruit for a complete meal. You can also store and reheat leftovers if you have any. And you can use toum in many other ways besides grilled cheese.
So what are you waiting for? Grab some garlic and oil and make some toum today. Then make some toum grilled cheese and enjoy the best sandwich ever.
I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new about toum grilled cheese. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. And if you liked this article, please share it with your friends and family.
Thank you for reading and happy grilling!
What kind of cheese should I use for toum grilled cheese?
You can use any kind of cheese that melts well and has a mild flavor that won’t overpower the toum. Some good options are Muenster, cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella, provolone, or Monterey Jack.
What kind of bread should I use for toum grilled cheese?
You can use any kind of bread that is sturdy enough to hold the cheese and the toum without falling apart. Some good options are sourdough bread, rustic bread, whole wheat bread, or rye bread.
How can I make toum less garlicky?
If you find toum too garlicky for your taste, you can try some of these tips:
Use less garlic or more oil and lemon juice in your recipe.
Roast the garlic before blending it to make it sweeter and milder.
Add some yogurt or sour cream to the toum to make it creamier and less pungent.
How can I make toum spicier?
If you want to add some heat to your toum, you can try some of these tips:
Add some red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce to the toum.
Use some spicy oil, such as chili oil or harissa oil, instead of neutral oil in your recipe.
Add some fresh or dried herbs, such as cilantro, parsley, mint, or oregano, to the toum.
What are some other cuisines that use garlic sauce similar to toum?
Garlic sauce is a common ingredient in many cuisines around the world.
Some examples are:
Aioli: A French sauce made with garlic, oil, and sometimes egg yolk. It’s often served with seafood, potatoes, or vegetables.
Skordalia: A Greek sauce or dip made with garlic, oil, and either bread, potatoes, or nuts. It’s often served with fish, meat, or vegetables.
Mojo de ajo: A Mexican sauce made with garlic, oil, and lime juice. It’s often used to flavor grilled meats, seafood, or vegetables.