Here at “A Bowl of Cherries” we love girly beauty: pretty china, vintage crystal, posh scented candles. But even to us, the Victoria Day weekend—when many Canadians open their cottages for the season—suggests one thing: a few cold beers. It’s not nicknamed “May 2-4” for nothing. Which raises the possibility of a bleary morning after.
Childless hipsters can head to their neighbourhood diner for a curative fry-up, but those of us with families have to improvise.
The solution? A grownup grilled cheese, chased with a spicy Bloody Caesar. The basic sandwich debuted sometime in the 1920s in the U.S., but the Caesar is a uniquely Canadian creation, invented in a Calgary restaurant in 1969.
We recall once ordering a Caesar and it arrived nearly a foot tall, in a souvenir CN Tower glass, its rosy depths pierced by a giant plastic sword layered with olives, pickles, onions, salami, swiss cheese, you name it. The salted rim was hung all round with curled jumbo shrimp. It was absurd. Mortifying. And celebratory? Definitely.
We’ve recreated our version below. And while a plain grilled cheese can be slapped together effortlessly for any ankle-biters around, take a moment to gussy it up for yourself and your weekend guests. A perfect blend of salty and savoury…good for what ails you. Even if you’re not hungover.
Grownup Grilled Cheese
Construct your sandwich by spreading a thin layer of butter or oil on the outside of the bread.
Layer in cheese, arugula, and prosciutto/avocado; place in buttered/oiled skillet or sandwich press (we used my mum’s George Foreman for recipe-testing purposes!)
Flip if necessary when bread is golden and cheese is gooey (technical culinary term…)
Serve with a dollop of spicy ketchup on some retro diner ware, pair with the beverage below, and kiss your hang-over good-bye!
Makes 1 sandwich
Spicy Bloody Caesar
Place 3 tablespoons celery salt in a thin layer in a small dish or shallow bowl. Take empty serving glasses and wet their rims with a lime wedge. Dip rims in celery salt to coat. Shake off excess.
In a pitcher, mix lime juice, Clamato, Worcestershire, hot pepper sauce, pepper, remaining celery salt, horseradish, and vodka. Stir. Pour into retro highball glasses (we like our Red Lobster one!) over ice.
(Oh, and if you have any cocktail swords lying about, stab any spicy olives or pickles with abandon and plop ‘em in!)