Gourmet Italian Meatball grilled cheese sandwich using ramen noodles as bread, spaghetti style.
Ramen Grilled Cheese
This week it's all about gourmet grilled cheese in honor of grilled cheese month. For my part, I wanted to try something different since I'd already done a grilled cheese for grilled cheese day a few weeks ago doing an inside-out grilled cheese where the outside of the bread is covered with crispy frica parmesan. This time I wanted to try something even more adventurous so decided to get rid of the bread altogether. In some places I've heard that a spaghetti and meatball sandwich is very popular, but as tasty as it sounded, it would be a bit too many carbs for me. So if I could just get those noodles to be the bread! Hmmm....
I didn't figure I would have too much success with ordinary vermicelli since it would likely fall apart. And I didn't want to use something like lasagna noodles. But ramen is already mostly cooked (since the type I use is instant, like what you see in the grocery. There is other ramen that is not instant, which I use for ramen soup...) and comes in a nice little square. I've already tried using instant ramen for things like pan fried noodles which works out pretty well. I liked that the noodles are square and wound into each other. So I set about to cooking them soft without disturbing them too much by covering with boiling water in a small bowl, then doing a gently drain.
After that I poured a seasoned egg mixture on top with a little butter and let them sit about ten minutes (probably not necessary- I was just doing something else concurrent). Then I slid them into a small hot skillet and browned it, being careful when I turned it. One I almost wrecked when flipping, but turned it back over, straightened it, then flipped it again and all was fine. Then I slid them onto foil and chilled them so they would sort of "set up". Topping was the easy part and I just did mine in a panini machine. You could probably do it with a Foreman grill as well (although I have never owned one) or maybe even a waffle iron if it isn't too deep (some are less so).
I wondered if these might end up being a knife and fork thing. But. Remarkably, you can pick them up with your hands and eat them like a sandwich (albeit a bit buttery). I found one sandwich to be quite a bit (I only managed half) but then I find many pasta dishes to be very filling. So kids and light appetites won't eat it all, but a big guy probably will.If someone doesn't mind sharing a sandwich, these should be perfect. I recommend them with a little tossed salad and a bowl of extra marinara for those who like to dip.
Overall, they are a bit weird, but very fun, and sometimes that's what blogging is about--not just doing the tried and true, but trying new and interesting things together. Maybe you or I will want this every week, or maybe something a little more mundane, but at least making a sandwich with noodles for bread is off the bucket list. BTDT, got the blog post to prove it. LOL! Enjoy.
- 4 (2 ounces each) packets instant ramen noodle squares
- 4 cups boiling water
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 4-6 ounces meatballs in marinara sauce
- 2-4 ounces Mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- Place ramen squares by themselves in 4 cereal bowls (or prefer square bowls if you have them) and cover each with one cup of boiling water. Let stand five minutes.
- Carefully slide softened square into a sieve to drain then back into the bowl.
- Whisk together the eggs, Parmesan, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Drizzle two tablespoons of the egg mix onto each noodle square, then drizzle with about 1 tablespoon melted butter.
- Slide the square into a small nonstick skillet and cook until golden on each side, turning carefully.
- Place browned square onto a piece or foil and fold the edges up and refrigerate for about 45 minutes to an hour.
- When the noodle square is chilled, top one piece with some marinara fro the meatballs, the mozzarella cheese, and some meatballs (thinly sliced).
- Top with the other noodle pie and cook in an electric panini press or in a skillet with a panini press (although I think the electric is easier), cooking until noodles crisp and cheese melts.