My “Grilled Cheese” Google Alerts have been piling up in my inbox and open tabs in my browser. I was saving the great grilled cheese sandwiches from around the web yet I had no time to post them. That time has come now, and it […]
Grilled Cheese Roundup: Bonobos, Cranberry Brie, Balsamic Brussels Sprouts and More Grilled Cheese Goodness
With everything that has been going on in my life, including my first ever book signing, work and Thanksgiving, I had no time to sift through all of my grilled cheese Google alerts that were cluttering up my inbox. I had alerts dating back until […]
Grilled Cheese Roundup: Thomas Jefferson, Caramel Apple, Bacon Brie, Caramelized Onion, and Much More
Another, somewhat longer, installation of the Grilled Cheese Roundup. Hope you enjoy, especially because somehow Thomas Jefferson and cheese are mentioned in the same sentence!
A case could be made that one of the American founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, helped popularize Italy’s Parmesan cheese in America.
It seems likely that Thomas Jefferson, an educated man who enjoyed living well, had tasted Parmesan cheese in American homes even before becoming the U.S. ambassador to France. He took up this post in 1786, long before Parmesan began to be called Parmigiano Reggiano® cheese.
Who would have thought that Thomas Jefferson was a fan of Parmesan cheese and wanted to bring it to the States? I surely didn’t! Smartly, though, he realized that trying to produce true Parmesan cheese in the United States was futile as part of the allure of the cheese was the fact that it was produced in Italy itself. Regardless, his love for Parmesan cheese, definitely helped begin the intrigue of such an awesome cheese.
(courtesy How Sweet It Is)
Fall is in the air and the leaves are changing color. That means it is time for a fall grilled cheese. Caramel apple‘s tend to show up in grocery stores and farmers markets at this time of year so why not try it as a grilled cheese? This amazing sandwich uses REAL caramel sauce and honeycrisp apples to make a unique and wonderful fall grilled cheese.
(courtesy Smells Like Home)
With me keeping Kosher and not eating bacon, I normally wouldn’t post this sandwich. However, it looks good and fig is a unique ingredient that seems to be popping up as of late. Plus, just because I don’t eat bacon, doesn’t mean the rest of the world doesn’t eat it also. Brie and fig jam (and bacon) seems like a great combination that should be tried by all the bacon lovers out there (which I know there are a ton).
(courtesy The Naptime Chef)
I love caramelized onions. I really, really love caramelized onions. The flavor is simply amazing. So when I saw The Naptime Chef made a grilled cheese consisting of caramelized onions (and swiss cheese), I had to post it for everyone to see.
When someone posts a gallery of 10 original grilled cheese sandwich creations, how can I not post it? The above, “Cheezy Peas,” features mild cheddar and cooked peas. Looks and sounds pretty good to me! Other creations include “The Swiss Fun Guy,” featuring gruyère cheese, sautéed mushrooms, shallots, and fresh thyme; “Cruciferous Cheese Sandwich,” featuring gruyère cheese and thinly sliced roasted cauliflower; “Garlic Fries Melt,” featuring white cheddar cheese, thinly sliced roasted potatoes, and whole roasted garlic cloves. Definitely take a look through yourself and see which one is your favorite!
Grilled Cheese Roundup: Remembering Steve Jobs, The Melt (Good or Bad?), Grilled Cheese 9 Ways +2 More, Antique Cheese Graters…
Steve Jobs 1955-2011 (courtesy apple.com) “The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been […]
I have been a fan of POM (pomegranate) juice for awhile but only recently began drinking it again. After purchasing a few large bottles of their standard pomegranate juice, and then drinking it, the thought crossed my mind to somehow use said juice in a […]
In a tribute to Valentine’s Day, I had to create a grilled cheese sandwich with strawberries, a main ingredient of the holiday. Last year, I went with a strawberry/mango grilled cheese, so this year I had to switch it up just a bit. I kept with the strawberry theme and instead of mangoes went with oranges. I figured the strawberries and oranges would go well together and I was correct.
- Orange Vinaigrette
the cheese: brie
Brie is often paired with sweet foods so it was a no-brainer to include it in a strawberries and orange vinaigrette grilled cheese. This Brie was pretty standard and very yummy. As you will see, it worked well with the grilled cheese.
How did “real” Brie cheese come about in the first place? Well, according to cheese experts, producing Brie cheese started in the French province called, not surprisingly, Brie – a town 60 miles from Paris!The oldest recorded evidence of its existence was found in the chronicles of Charlemagne. The Emperor at the time, tasted the cheese in the city of Brie around the year 774 BC. And here’s another interesting tidbit about Brie cheese… Louis XVI’s last and dying wish was supposedly to have a final taste of Brie.
It is sometimes called Brie de Meaux and is considered one of the most popular of the 400+ cheeses from France. Brie de Meaux’s popularity can be attributed to a competition that took place around 1814. During a Vienna Congress, an argument broke out regarding which country made the best and finest cheese.
As a result, a Frenchman by the name of Talleyrand, suggested a competition between the different countries and their national cheeses, as he was convinced that France would win. And of course, they did! Brie de Meaux was the winner and became known as the “King of Cheeses” and as you can imagine, instantly became an overnight success that swept Europe and has retained that distinction ever since. (ezinearticles.com)
Last week when I was staging, I was treated to a grilled cheese that included portobello mushrooms tossed in balsamic vinaigrette. I began to think why not toss strawberries in an orange vinaigrette?
With that idea tossing around in my head, I needed to find a recipe since I have never made a vinaigrette let alone an orange one. Google of course helped me out and I stumbled upon a blood orange vinaigrette recipe.
Since I only had some ingredients and did not need 4 servings worth, I edited this particular recipe just a bit. This is what I ended up with:
- fresh squeezed orange juice (continued adding OJ until it had the perfect amount, flavor)
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- ½ clove garlic, crushed and finely chopped
- ½ tablespoon finely chopped shallots
- finely chopped fresh chives (I used dried and did not measure)
Instead of using store bought orange juice, I went ahead, with the assistance of the sous chef and her tools, and made fresh squeezed orange juice. I believe this really enhanced the recipe and allowed more control over the flavors. In the future, I may even try different oranges in this recipe. I tried a blood orange at Whole Foods but did not think it was anything special so I stuck with a standard orange. (Are you a fan of blood oranges? If so, let me know in the comments.)
The choice for bread was between ciabatta (above) and a sourdough boule from Whole Foods. I was leaning towards the sourdough (the sous chef was leaning towards the ciabatta) since I thought it would be heartier and hold up more to the cheese and strawberries. The cheese monger told me to go with the ciabatta. He though the flavors of the ciabatta would work perfectly without overpowering the grilled cheese, which the sourdough might have done. Although the bread started out soft and “weak” it cooked perfectly, becoming crunchy and a great pocket for the grilled cheese sandwiches ingredients.
the grilled cheese:
strawberries & orange vinaigrette grilled cheese: A-
Yes, this grilled cheese could have used more strawberries. Yes, this grilled cheese could have used more orange vinaigrette. Yes, this grilled cheese was great regardless of those faults. The flavor was still there although it could have been slightly more apparent. I of course went with less as I did not want to totally overpower the sandwich. While eating, I did drizzle some more vinaigrette over a part of the grilled cheese and that turned out to be a bit much. There is definitely a fine line when it comes to flavors, especially fruity flavors. I will have to work on this in future grilled cheeses.
I am a big fan of texture, especially a crunchy texture, when it comes to grilled cheese sandwiches and this sandwich definitely had it. As already stated, the ciabatta really was a perfect bread for this grilled cheese. It was crunchy on the outside but still soft on the inside. It really did grill very well.
P.S. Happy belated Valentine’s Day to everyone out there. Hope everyone had a great day and weekend!
- Cheesiness: A-. Wasn’t overly cheesy but the Brie did definitely melt.
- Combined Fillings: A-. As said, if there was just a bit more strawberry and orange vinaigrette it would have been perfect. However, it was still pretty darn good the way it was.
ingredients were purchased at…
Since I knew I would be using the Brie for this particular grilled cheese, I decided to go sweet. Via GroupRecipes.com, I found a Brie and Grape grilled cheese recipe that was perfect. Ideas started popping out of my head including a grape and strawberry […]
With the Passover holiday continuing, tonight, I replaced “normal bread” with our lovely friend matzoh. Even with having to eat it for 8 days straight every year, it is starting to grow on me. It seems that most Jews dread this holiday simply because of […]
Before I update everyone on tonight’s Sunday Dinner, I must play catch-up one more time and write about the yummy grilled cheese I cooked on January 18, 2009. So far, it was probably the best sandwich I have created for Sunday Dinners.
- Brie Cheese
- Goat Cheese
- Apple Slices
- Sliced Tomato
- White Fancy Bread That I Forget the Name of
Brie and apple is a pretty standard combination and translated very well to a grilled cheese sandwich. Add in the tomato and you have a great sandwich. The main problem that I had with the grilled cheese was the amount of goat cheese that I used. At times it overpowered the sandwich when it wasn’t meant to be the main ingredient. The brie was was the star, and unfortunately, it took a back seat.
The bread choices for all of the grilled cheeses, have worked perfectly, including for this sandwich. With the help of my sous chef, we have worked out a method to get the bread crunchy and the cheese perfectly melted. Unless we choose a really off-the-wall bread, I do not see it bringing down the overall taste of the grilled cheese.
Next time, if I were to remake this grilled cheese, I would do my best to only put a very thin layer of goat cheese so that it acted as a supporting ingredient instead of the star. If I am able to do it correctly, this would be an even better sandwich than it already was.
the grilled cheese:
With each sandwich that I have cooked, my technique and recipes have only improved. I have to be happy with this.
garden grilled cheese: A-
This grilled cheese was great and definitely one that I hope to remake in the future. However, the fact that I overdid the amount of goat cheese, which in turn overpowered the grilled cheese and the brie in particular, forces me to knock the grade down from perfect to almost perfect.
ingredients were purchased at…
- Miles Farmer’s Market (Brie Cheese, Goat Cheese, Apple, Tomato, White Fancy Bread That I Forget the Name of)