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Inspired by my favorite skillet sandwich--grilled cheese and tomato--I've created five new ones. Each of these grilled sandwiches offers a balance of flavors (such as salty, tangy, spicy) and textures (crisp, soft, chewy). In The Reubenesque, a refreshing slaw adds sweetness and crunch to smoked turkey and nutty Jarlsberg cheese. The Orwasher's Special, a tribute to a New York City bakery that makes excellent raisin pumpernickel bread, contrasts sharp Cheddar and cured ham with curried apple. Cheese is a key ingredient in skillet sandwiches; as the cheese melts, it holds everything together. The exception: my vegetarian sandwich. The Parmesan makes a crisp crust on the bread, so I use smooth avocados to bind the sandwich.
Published October 1997


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