Recently, I have felt like my grilled cheese sandwiches have been missing something. They have not been as creative or unique as they could be. With this grilled cheese, I tried to turn the tide, even if it doesn’t appear to be that elaborate. As is the case lately, I was standing in Whole Foods when I saw tomatoes and had an epiphany. I recently tried to create a roasted garlic aioli, so I thought why not go with a roasted garlic and tomato aiolio for this grilled cheese? I then started to think about what cheese would compliment the croissants that I had sitting at home. Ricotta and cream cheese both came to mind and that is when I nixed the aioli and instead decided on something much more exciting…
- Miceli’s Low-Fat Ricotta Cheese
- Cluster Tomatoes / Roasted Garlic
the cheese: miceli’s low-fat ricotta cheese
Traditional, creamery, whey cheese made from cow’s milk. It is a basin-shaped cheese, pure white and wet but not sticky. Good Ricotta should be firm, not solid and consist of a mass of fine, moist, delicate grains, neither salted nor ripened. It is white, creamy and mild and is primarily used as an ingredient in lasagna. It is primarily made with cow’s milk whey which is heated to 170 degrees F. Citric acid is added to encourage destabilization and separation and the temperature is quickly raised to 185 degrees F. Proteins from the whey separate rise and coagulate; the proteins (lactalbumin) are skimmed off and put in a wicker basket to drain for two days after which the “cheese” is ready for market. There are three distinct varieties of ricotta: ricotta salata moliterna (ewe’s milk whey), ricotta piemontese (cow’s milk whey + 10% milk) and ricotta romana (a byproduct of Romano cheese production). (Cheese.com)
On Christmas Day, I tried to make a roasted garlic aioli with garlic and an egg yolk. I then tried to use it in a grilled cheese. It turned out okay but not great. I thought of mastering the art of making aioli with this sandwich when I changed my mind.
I have done sundried tomatoes before but I wanted to do something different, I wanted to try roasted tomatoes. However, when I googled roasted tomatoes, all the recipes seemed to be for sundried tomatoes. I was disappointed, but was not defeated.
Instead of following the recipes, I quartered the tomatoes, peeled the garlic and rubbed olive oil all over. I also added salt for flavor. I then cooked the garlic and tomatoes in the oven for about 15-20 minutes at 350* F.
As you already read, I chose ricotta as the cheese for this grilled cheese. I decided on a smooth, creamy cheese because I decided to mix the roasted garlic and tomato in the cheese as opposed to making a separate aioli. It seemed like a good idea and turned out pretty well.
First, I took the 4 or 5 cloves of roasted garlic and mixed it in the ricotta.
Next was to mix the roasted tomatoes in with the garlic and ricotta.
With all of the ingredients being mixed together, I thought I needed something else, something with a crunch. My first thought was arugula but I ended up going with fresh spinach. It was a good thought but I am not sure it was necessary.
Croissants are perfect for any meal, whether with something or by itself. It worked really well for this grilled cheese.
the grilled cheese:
roasted garlic & tomato grilled cheese: A-
The roasted garlic and tomato ricotta grilled cheese tasted great. The garlic added flavor that enhanced the entire grilled cheese. However, the tomato was not as evident as I would have liked. I am thinking that if I added one more tomato in with the garlic and ricotta, the flavors would have been more well balanced. The spinach, unfortunately, did not add the additional texture that I was hoping for. Maybe arugula or some other green would have been better. Finally, the croissant was perfect for this type of grilled cheese.