Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Occupy the Jacked Up Grill.......Mini Grilled Cheese Four Ways Stage a Protest...So I Pepper Sprayed Them and Ate Them

     There are two theories of time travel. Theory #1 is like what happened in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. In this theory, there is only one reality, and any trips forward or back in time create loops that will always be there. When the two kids (I'll pretend like I don't know their names, since I am a big many man who shouldn't be into Harry Potter) go back in time to save Gary Oldman and the flying horse bird (....again, feigning hippogriffic ignorance), it dawns on them that they have to throw the rock, make the werewolf call and summon the white reindeer (....) in order to fulfill the events that they already experienced in the past. This theory creates a loop of activities that never ends. They knew they had to do those things, because they had already seen their future selves do them in their own pasts. So in Theory #1, there is no changing the past or future. You were always going to go back in time to cause the events that you cause, and the results make you who you are in the future, so nothing can be changed.

     Theory B involves an infinite number of possible realities. In one reality, (the one you are living in right now), no one has ever moved forward or backward in time to change anything, so everything happens exactly as it always would have. If you go back in time, anything you change causes a ripple that affects every event and person from that point on, potentially leading to drastically different outcomes, and a different future. So there can be the future that would have happened with no time travel, and an infinite number of futures varying anywhere from minisculely to catastrophically based on the impact of your time travel. This is what happened in Back to the Future. The dude lived in a reality where his dad was a nerd, but then after intervening in the past and returning to the future, he discovered his dad was a successful science fiction writer with real panache. So one trip back in time created two diverging lines of reality. The Butterfly Effect created multiple realities.

     My egotistical mind wants Theory #1 to be the correct one, because I want the reality we live in to be the only one there is in the universe. Creatively, however, I like the idea that a universe of infinite possibilities and lines of reality exist, so I start leaning toward Theory B. Of course, when you really start wrapping your mind around it, paradoxes and faults in the movie plots start to emerge. For example, when Marty McFly starts to influence his parents from the past, and reduces the chances that they will end up together, he starts to disappear, indicating that his intervention in their past would have had an impact on the present he came from. This is a concept that only applies in Theory #1. According to the laws of physics in Back to the Future, if he had prevented his parents from ending up together, he simply wouldn't have been born in the future of that reality. The reality he came from would have still been based on a past that he hadn't manipulated, so his existence wouldn't have been in any jeopardy. Nice job blowing that one, Robert Zemeckis.

      I have been wanting to put my thoughts on the nature of time travel into words for literally 15 years, and now I have done it. The closest I have come, until today, was to explain it at length to my wife, and I'm pretty sure I saw that look in her eye where she was wondering what kind of conversations she would be having right now if she had married ANYBODY else, so I let it go.

If you're still reading, I am sure you are wishing you had a time machine that worked in whatever way, so you could go back and check your facebook status for a thousand years rather than read this garbage. Well guess what? I'm going to make it worth your while with a recipe for four awesome mini-grilled cheese sandwiches!!!!

I love a bite sized food. And I love grilled cheese. So I decided to make a bite-sized grilled cheese. Four of them, in fact. Here is how they go:

Grilled Cheese Four Ways
#1 Greek Flavored
4 slices Sourdough Bread
4 slices creamy asiago cheese
2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese
8 green olives, chopped
2 tbsp pickled banana pepper rings, chopped
2 tbsp greek salad dressing

Mix the olives, peppers, and feta. Cut the crusts off the bread and cut each piece into two small squares. Assemble the sandwich with a piece of bread, a piece of asiago, the olive/pepper/feta mix, then another piece of cheese, and then the final piece of bread. Rather than using butter or oil, brush the outside of the bread with the greek dressing and grill on a griddle or in a non-stick pan until brown and crispy on both sides. serve with additional Greek dressing for dipping.
This one was a crowd favorite.

#B Southwest Chicken
1 chicken breast, sliced thin (I used a rotisserie chicked from the grocery store)
4 slices sourdough bread
4 slices pepper jack cheese
2 tbsp salsa
2 tsp chopped pickled jalepeno rings
2 tbs olive oil
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
Using a round cookie cutter, cut two discs out of each piece of bread. Assemble with Bread-Cheese-Chicken-Jalepeno-Cheese-Bread. On one of the pieces of bread, dunk one side in salsa. Sprinkle each outer piece of bread with crushed red pepper. Grill on a griddle or in a non-stick skillet until brown on each side. Serve with salsa and sour cream for dipping.

#III Monte Cristo
4 slices swirled Pumpernickel/rye bread
4 slices smoked gruyerre cheese
4 slices deli ham
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp milk
powdered sugar

Cut Crusts off the bread and cut each piece into two even squares. Assemble the sandwich as follows: Bread-Cheese-Ham-Cheese-Bread. Mix egg with milk in a bowl. Dip each sandwich on both sides in egg wash long enough for it to start to soak the bread. Immediately place on a screaming hot griddle or non-stick skillet. Brown on both sides until crispy. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with raspberry jam for dipping.

#Four Bacon and Smoked Gouda
4 slices whole weat bread
4 slices smoked gouda cheese
4 slices top quality bacon, crispy
2 tbsp butter, melted

Using a round cookie cutter, cut two discs of bread out of each slice. Assemble as follows: Bread-Cheese-Bacon-Cheese-Bread. Brush the outsides with melted butter and grill on a griddle or non-stick pan until brown and crispy on both sides.

These were very fun to make and eat, and each one was somebody's favorite. I would make them all again, and they paired very well with the two scratch made soups we came up with (chicken tortilla and potato vichyssoise).

If you bailed out on these grilled cheese recipes halfway through the timetravel segment, you no doubt wish that time travel existed in a Theory B fashion, which would allow you to go back and actually correct your mistake. Because if it's only Theory #1, you'll be trapped in a loop of missing out on awesome grilled cheese for all eternity.......Way to blow your only chance at happiness, grilled cheese hater.