I must say, within the past couple of weeks, after eating each grilled cheese sandwich, I have felt like I don’t have much to say. Sure, writing about the Jarlsberg cheese did invigorate me a bit, but it does seem like I am turning into a man of few words. Have I lost my touch? I wouldn’t say that exactly, because I still enjoy cooking and creating new sandwiches. However, when it comes to the write-ups, I may be burnt-out. I try to put all of my thoughts onto “paper,” but they all seem to have been stolen by a a little bird. (If you find that bird, please send him my way. I do like having my thoughts.) Tonight, I will try and at least tell you something about this breaded eggplant grilled cheese, even though I am still not sure what I thought.
- Breaded Eggplant
- “Tomato Sauce”
- Jarlsberg Cheese
- Portuguese Roll
the cheese: jarlsberg
Since tonight’s grilled cheese was planned to be like breaded eggplant parmesan, the thought was to use Mozzarella cheese. However, Jarlsberg was on sale and I had never used nor ever tasted it so I went for it. The minute I tasted it, I thought Swiss, and as I Love Cheese tells us below, it is a type of Baby Swiss.
Hailing from Norway, Jarlsberg (pronounced: “YAHRLZ-berg”) is the world’s most famous “Baby Swiss.” This traditional, creamery cow’s milk cheese, is in fact, related to Swiss Emmenthaler, but the flavour is noticeably nuttier and sweeter, with a fruity aftertaste. And then there are those eyes, those large round holes that make Jarlsberg so easy to slice – and fun to eat.
A medium-fat, hard interior ripened cheese, Jarlsberg is covered with a thick rind and yellow wax. On the inside, Jarlsberg is semi-firm, very smooth, and buttery rich. All of these qualities make Jarlsberg one of Norway’s greatest exports throughout the world. And that’s pretty impressive for a European cheese barely over 50 years old. (Learn more about Jarlsberg cheese at ILoveCheese.co.uk.)
The cheese is probably one of the best parts of the evening/grilled cheese. I have been munching on it off and on and love every minute of it. The description above is spot on, especially the nuttiness. Normally I am not the biggest fan of Swiss cheese, but for some reason, this cheese has hit me in an awesome way. I hope to try this again in the near future.
Based on a suggestion from a friend, Dan, I went with the breaded eggplant grilled cheese sandwich idea. The sous chef took care of the eggplant by breading and pan-frying it. She did a great job, as you can see by the photo at the beginning of this entry. It was not the breaded eggplant that has made me question tonight’s grilled cheese.
I must say, I tried to be overly creative with the tomato sauce and unfortunately, it did not work. I should have simply added to canned tomato sauce, but nope, not me. Or, I should have looked up a recipe, but nope, not me either. Instead, I mashed up some tomatoes, added some onion, garlic, basil, rosemary and thyme. I thought that would work, but, it looked and smelled more like homemade salsa.
Whoops. As you can tell, I have never truly made tomato sauce. So, to try and make it better I added some tomato soup, since we did not have tomato paste. It helped, but it still was nowhere near tomato sauce. Next time, I am looking up a recipe and going from there.
The Portuguese roll was fantastic choice for this grilled chese. I felt like I was creating a meatball sub, except for the fact that I was not including any meatballs. Oh and I must mention that I know the debate could be made that this wasn’t exactly a grilled cheese sandwich, but when you are trying to push the envelope, you have to take a few chances.
the grilled cheese:
breaded eggplant grilled cheese: B
The cheese and breaded eggplant seemed to work well together, it was just the sauce that made this grilled cheese questionable. I would take one bite and say this isn’t very good, but then would think that the next bite was fantastic. That is how the whole sandwich was and therefore I am unsure what to think about this grilled cheese. For now, I am going with the thought that the breaded eggplant grilled cheese was “just okay,” but maybe with real sauce, it could have been much better.
P.S. I will not be making a sandwich next Sunday, July 26, 2009, as it is my 26th birthday and I will be eating out. I hope to return the following Sunday, but depending on my level of “burntoutnedness,” I may be skipping that week as well. Make sure to keep your eyes on my Twitter and Facebook page to stay up to date on my grilled cheese happenings!
ingredients were purchased at…
- Miles Farmer’s Market (Eggplant, Jarlsberg Cheese Portuguese Roll)