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Tip: you can use more bell peppers to create an extra portion of bell pepper spread. You can even use leftover spread as pasta sauce.
PRE-HEAT the oven to 250 degrees Celsius or 480 degrees Fahrenheit. First, we're going to create a bell pepper spread for our first grilled cheese variation.
Roasting the peppers is very simple, slice them in half, remove the seeds and place them cut side down on a baking tray.
DRIZZLE with olive oil, pepper and salt. Divide the sprigs of thyme and roast the bell peppers for about 20 minutes, or until the skin is turning blackish. REMOVE from the oven and let them cool off until you can handle them with your hands.
Use your hands to peel off the skin. Add the roasted peppers along with the flavorful oil from the baking tray in a small blender. Also, ADD a peeled garlic clove and then blend until you've reached a smooth spread.
For the second grilled cheese variation, we're going to slice the mushrooms, half a red onion and finely chop 1 garlic clove. HEAT olive oil in the small skillet and saute the mushrooms and red onion slices for a few minutes.
Add the chopped garlic and saute a little longer until the mushrooms are golden brown. POUR in the balsamic vinegar and season with pepper and salt.
Use a bread knife to create 6 thick bread slices and smear them with butter on one side. Those sides are the top and bottom of the grilled cheese sandwiches. For the first variation, smear the other sides with bell pepper spread and then divide the slices of Gruyere.
For the second variation, divide a few of the slices of Manchego on the bread, then the mushroom mixture and finish it off with some more Manchego slices. For the third sweet variation, smear the bread slices with jam on both sides and then divide the slices of Gouda.
HEAT the large skillet on medium heat and place the 3 sandwiches into the skillet. PLACE the lid on and let the cheese melt slowly. After a few minutes, the bottom should be golden brown so it's ready to turn over.
Put the lid back on and wait another few minutes so the other side will be golden brown too. That's it! Serve with some more bell pepper spread if you like and enjoy!