Wednesday, April 12th marks National Grilled Cheese Day, and on behalf of Michael and Charlie Kalish, The Cheese Twins, here are two amazing grilled cheese ideas to keep you going tomorrow. This delicious day totally needs some wine pairings, so thanks to these two “hunkalicious cheese experts” the recipes for these delectable pairings are below, paired with Meiomi Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Happy National Grilled Cheese everyone, and please pair responsibly!
Chili-Roasted Cauliflower Grilled Cheese with Mushrooms and Lardons: Courtesy of The Cheese Twins
Pairing: Meiomi Pinot Noir- a sexy red with an even sexier sandwich!
For the garnish:
1/8 teaspoon chili flakes
1/8 head of cauliflower (about 8 florets)
½ tablespoon olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
3 cremini mushrooms
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
For the sandwich:
¼ lb. mix of gruyere or Swiss and mozzarella
2 slices whole wheat bread, thickly cut
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Method: Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut a head of cauliflower into florets of equal size. It’s okay to cut larger florets in half. Add florets to a medium sized bowl, add olive oil, chili flakes and salt and pepper to taste and toss until well coated. Transfer the mixture to roasting pan and spread out across the pan (packing them too close will cause them to steam). Roast until caramelized on the bottoms, about 10-15 minutes. Using a spatula, turn the florets over and roast for another 5-8 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
While the cauliflower is roasting, slice the cremini mushrooms into 1/8-inch thick slices. Add ½ tablespoon of unsalted butter to a sauté pan and melt at medium-high heat. Just before the butter starts to brown, add the mushrooms and sauté until slightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the lardons to the sauté pan and sauté until the fat has a light crispiness and is well rendered. Remove from pan and pat lardons dry with paper towel. Add to bowl with mushrooms.
Remove the cauliflower from oven and set aside.
Butter each bread slice on both sides, making sure you apply a uniform, very thin coat of butter. Add buttered bread to the pan, and grill side by side until lightly golden brown.
Note: To make sure you do not burn your grilled cheese during the next steps, you may want to turn down the heat to medium or briefly remove the pan from the heat as necessary.
Flip the bread and keep side by side in the pan. Add grated cheese on the now-hot grilled surface of the bread slices and gently press down onto the bread. On one slice, add the cauliflower, mushroom and lardon and press into the cheese. Carefully tip the other slide (with the cheese loosely on top) on top of the slice with the cauliflower mixture. You may lose some cheese to the pan, but that’s ok, it will crisp up and create a delicious fried cheese flavor. You can always quickly rescue the cheese from the pan and stuff into the grilled cheese. Press the grilled cheese down with your spatula or the bottom of a heavy pot to evenly distribute cheese and accelerate melting. Grill until each side is golden brown.
Grilled Gouda with Prosciutto and Arugula: Courtesy of The Cheese Twins
Pairing: Meiomi Chardonnay- smooth, buttery, and beautiful!
½ cup Arugula, cleaned and dried
2 slices Prosciutto di Parma
¼ lb. Marieke Young Gouda by Holland Family Farms, grated
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 slices egg bread, like Challah, thickly cut
Method: Follow same grilling instructions as previous recipe, except use above ingredients in place of the sautéed ingredients. The butteriness of the Prosciutto di Parma and Gouda pair perfectly with the buttery texture and sweetness of the egg bread. The arugula adds a green component to balance out the rich butter as well as a little spicy pepperiness. This is one of our personal favorites.
Important Note: Egg bread can burn very quickly, so keep control over the heat and don’t be afraid to remove the pan from burner. Egg bread is light, fluffy and slightly sweet, enhancing (rather than drowning out) the subtle flavors of the Prosciutto and Gouda. A perfect example of high risk, high reward.
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