Breakfast and by extension hash browns, is a meal that I love. The same can be said for grilled cheese sandwiches. Therefore, I thought why not combine a part of breakfast (hash browns) with my favorite sandwich? It was a no-brainer…
- Homemade Hash Browns
- Monterey Jack Cheese
- Whole Wheat Pugliese
the cheese: monterey jack
As I write this, I am eating one more slice of cheese, simply because it was that good by itself. On the hash brown grilled cheese, it was great as well. Very yummy!
Also known as Monterey Jack, California Jack, or Sonoma Jack, this buttery, semi-soft cheese was created by 19th century cheese maker David Jacks. It can be made from whole, skimmed, or partially skimmed cow’s milk, and its texture and flavor varies with maturity. Unaged Jack, ripened from one week to one month, is mild and high in moisture, with excellent melting qualities. Aged or dry Jack, ripened for about 10 months, is hard, rich, nutty and fruity. It’s most often used as a grating cheese atop pasta and salads…learn more about American cheeses.
This cheese was on sale at my local market and so I said okay, I will try it. I am very glad that I did. It is a very soft, and creamy cheese that has a distinct taste that I just can’t put my finger on. If it weren’t for the fact that I might get sick, I would eat the rest of the block. Maybe I just found a great variety, or I just never knew that I liked Monterey Jack cheese. I am glad I know now.
When I was trying to think of a title for this blog, I realized that my good ol’ friend The Daily Spud would probably have loved this grilled cheese. I mean, spuds are the base for all good hash browns, right? (The old blog title was Spuds Are Great.)
A quick note about the bread courtesy The Cook’s Thesaurus.
Pugliese bread = pan Pugliese Pronunciation: pool-yee-AY-zee Notes: This simple, crusty bread hails from Puglia, Italy, and is great for making sandwiches or dipping into olive oil. Some producers flavor it with olives or cheese. Substitutes: Italian bread
I am not much a whole wheat/multigrain bread person, but the taste was not overpowering and worked perfectly for tonight’s grilled cheese. I might even eat the leftover bread by itself.
I have a done a breakfast sandwich with a fried egg, so tonight I thought I would try another breakfast food: hash browns. Let me say, my idea was ingenious. If I felt like cutting some more red peppers/green peppers/white onions and shredding more potatoes I would have made a second sandwich, but I was not that motivated.
The star of tonight’s grilled cheese, the hash browns, not me, included red/green peppers, white onion, garlic, salt/pepper to taste and Idaho potatoes. They smelled great even before putting them in a wok pan and frying them up with a mix of olive and canola oil. I cooked them in two batches just so that I could make sure that they were cooked perfectly. It worked out very well. We used two medium sized Idaho potatoes for two people and that made the correct amount although some may like more. It seemed like the potatoes shrunk, which makes sense since they are very watery, so keep that in mind if you decide to make this recipe for yourself.
It may be odd, but the sous chef and I did debate as to the order of the ingredients on the sandwich: bread > cheese > hash browns or bread > hash browns > cheese. I am not sure if there is a true difference between the two, but we sure thought so, so we went bread > hash browns > cheese and that seemed to taste great.
After completely cooking the hash browns, we did pat them down with a paper towel to absorb most of the grease. This did help, but we could have possibly done more. However, when that is the biggest complaint of the evening, I think the grilled cheese was pretty great!
the grilled cheese:
hash brown grilled cheese: A
I like breakfast and all foods associated with it, at least all breakfast foods I can eat, so maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that I liked tonight’s hash brown grilled cheese. Either way, I would highly recommend that you try this one on your own. It was a great mix of taste and flavor stuffed between two slices of great bread. All of the ingredients worked very well together and created one great grilled cheese.