Reinventing grilled cheese

shrimp naanwich

Did I mention to you that I’m on a diet? Yes, again. I’m truly the poster child for yo-yo dieting. I even have a string in the top of my head.

When I diet, I fantasize about my favourite foods. In fact, all weekend long I was tormented by dreams of crunchy, buttery, gooey grilled cheese sandwiches!

As much as I love old school, aged Cheddar melted between slices of sandwich bread (these are the sandwiches that I grew up eating for lunch), I’ve been known to experiment with my grilled cheese, too. In fact, in my 2007 cookbook Dana’s Top ten Table (Harper Collins), I featured this suppertime sandwich that combines tender naan bread, molten cheese and crunchy, sweet shrimp. Decadent, fast, easy and comforting:

Shrimp Toasty Naanwhich

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

1/2 lb (50 mL) thawed, frozen cooked shrimp, tails and shells removed
3 tbsp (45 mL) mayonnaise (light or regular)
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 green onion, finely chopped
4 slices havarti cheese
4 slices naan bread, halved crosswise
1 tbsp (15 mL) melted butter

Pat the shrimp dry on paper towels and then chop coarsely if large. Blend with the mayonnaise with the garlic and green onion. Lay two large naan out on a clean work surface; spread the shrimp mixture evenly over one slice. Top with the cheese slices and remaining bread.

• Spread the butter evenly over the outside of the naan. Preheat a panini maker, hinged grill or a large skillet or griddle to medium heat. Add the sandwich and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until bread is golden on each side and cheese is melted. If cooking on the stovetop, turn the sandwich halfway through cooking. Makes 4 servings.

In case you’re uninitiated, naan is an East Indian, wheat flour, leavened bread that’s baked until pillowy, soft and golden in a tandoor oven. According to the Chicago Tribune, using naan for sandwiches is trending up. From Canada’s west coast chain Sabri Sandwiches that transform Indian entrées like butter chicken into hand held meals to old crocks like me, naan is a great way to perk up your sandwiches.

Do you use naan in non-traditional ways like sandwiches and pizza?

15 Responses to Reinventing grilled cheese

  1. Barb says:

    I have yet to try naan. I have seen a recipe for it however and it is on my list to try. You make these naanwiches look extremely tempting. I wonder how the store bought naan compares to homemade?

    • danamccauley says:

      The bought stuff around here is pretty good! I buy the fluffier ones – our local stores also have denser naan – and keep them in the freezer for whenever it’s needed.

  2. lailablogs says:

    Looks absolutely delicious .. Laila .. http://lailablogs.com/

  3. Hey Dana

    Some of the rest of us are on diets, too, you know! Enuf with the tempting recipes!!! Although I have to admit, I just discovered this fantastic cheese at Longo’s called Arrigoni Roccolo and was thinking about trying it in a grilled sandwich – purely for research purposes, of course.

  4. Diva says:

    Much as I love naan, I’ve never though about using it for a grilled cheese. Brilliant idea, Dana! And, for the record, grilled cheese on whole wheat is one of my all time favorite foods. Yum!

  5. Heather Li says:

    Ohmygoodness… Naan and cheese… grilled… Brilliant!

  6. Jennifer says:

    I have a weakness for melted havarti cheese…Splendid idea to spruce up the traditional grilled cheese with shrimp and naan bread. What a delight!

  7. Okay, I don’t use, but I will now. That looks so good and perfect for this chilly Calgary morning. I hope you are staying warm.

  8. As you know, I’m not the biggest sandwich fan, but I love naan bread and think this would make a fantastic sandwich. I’m going to make my own naan soon and if there are any leftovers, I know what I’ll do with them!

  9. […] Reinventing grilled cheese « Dana McCauley’s food blog Reinventing grilled cheese « Dana McCauley’s food blog […]

  10. GrilledShane says:

    I actually tried my hand at a naan grilled cheese consisting of cumin, curry, red chili, onion, tomato, shallot, and scrambled eggs. It was delish! I am a big fan of naan bread for just a snack or for a pesto pizza. Very versatile and very yummy!

  11. This is an excellent post!

    I think weight loss, best way to lose belly fat and fitness always boil down to 2 things: 1) Metabolism and 2) Nutrition.

    Metabolism: You worked to expend the excess calories so that they do not turn into fats. To do that, either you create a calories deficit or you increase your calories usage.

    For those who prefer to exercise, you should focus on weight training and high intensity interval training like wind sprinting. Forget about cardio.

    Nutrition: First thing is to get the habit of reading labels. If you see anything that says high fructose corn syrup, trans fat, hydrogenated or partial hydrogenated oil, put it back.

    Next understand that you need to eat a balance meal, and not follow a fad diet. One that contains carbohydrates, protein and fat.

  12. emquizitive says:

    This looks amazing. I’m a nut for naan. I’m a nut for any doughy, yeasty bread product. I have tried some pretty good store-bought naan (the par-done kind), but I imagine a naanwich like this would be amazing with some fresh take-out naan. I haven’t made sandwiches, but I found your site because I thought in my mind that “naanwich” sounds like something delicious. I would love to make a classic BLT this way.

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