Grilled Cheese Trios

grilled cheese trio #1

Last week, I became aware that the Wisconsin Cheese council was hosting a contest for the best grilled cheese recipes in partnership with the GrilledShane blog.

WELL. I love cheese. I love Grilled Shane’s blog about GRILLED cheese, so I knew I had to participate. Generally, when I create recipes, they aren’t complicated. I try and focus on fresh ingredients and try to find ways for the flavors and textures to work together and enhance one another.

Once I started thinking about what my soon-to-be-famous grilled cheese would be, I realized I had several flavor profiles rattling around in my brain and I knew I couldn’t be restrained. My solution was to build a couple of plates that featured trios of grilled cheese. Both were fun to make and even more fun to eat. I think combined, these would make great appetizers for a dinner party or something like a superbowl party. Some of the flavors are sophisticated, some are simple but honestly, I don’t think you’ll find anyone who can’t agree – they are all yummy.

What to gather:

Baguette bread

Pita Bread

Marscapone Cheese

Goat Cheese

Hallaumi Cheese

Savory Chutney or Jam like the one here, Pomegranate, Kamquat, Ginger and Jalapeno

Unsalted Butter

Strawberry+Marscapone CheeseGrilled Cheese Trio #1

Marscapone Cheese+Fresh Sliced Strawberries: This is sweet and luscious. With whipped cream it would make a beautiful dessert, with syrup it would make a great breakfast.

What to do: Heat griddle or pan on a medium-low heat, add butter to pan and melt. Using baguette bread, liberally spread the Marscapone cheese on one side, place on griddle or pan. Gently slice 1-2 fresh strawberries, add on top of bread on griddle. Add more cheese to a 2nd piece of baguette and top the sandwich. It should be ready to flip.Cook until cheese is softened (not runny) and both sides are toasted.

Goat Cheese+Foie Gras Mousse: The mousse I used for this was more like a pate, and it should be room temperature, you could even grill it slightly before adding it to the sandwich, which I think would be really great. Fresh basil would be good too.

What to do: Heat pan or grilled to medium heat, add butter to pan and melt. Using baguette, liberally spread goat cheese on one piece and add to pan. Add thin slices of foie gras mousse to sandwich on griddle or pan. Another generous amount of goat cheese to another half of the baguette, add to sandwich and flip. Cook until cheese is melted and both sides are toasted.

Hallaumi Cheese + Pomegranate, Kamquat, Ginger, Jalapeno Chutney: This sandwich is very special, because the chutney has incredible depth. You will want to make this in advance as it is quite time consuming. Thank you to Weave Thousand Flavors for turning me on to this chutney. If you don’t want to use this chutney, or don’t have time to make it, be sure to use something savory as a substitute.

What to do: Heat pan or griddle to medium heat, add butter. Add pita (or baguette) with Hallaumi on it to pan. The cheese may take a while to melt, which is why I recommend a pita. Make sure the cheese is room temperature. Let the cheese melt on one side, before you add the chutney topping and the bread.

Grilled Cheese Trio #3

Grilled Cheese Trio #2

Marscapone+Foie Gras Mousse: This is for anyone who likes sweet/savory flavors together. I definitely feel this one needs the body of the baguette.The firmness of the mousse plays nicely with the softness of the Marscapone.

What to do: Heat pan or griddle to low heat, add butter. Add baguette with Marscapone on it to pan.  Let the cheese warm on one side, before you add the send piece of bread with the foie gras mousse. Flip.

Goat Cheese+Tomato: This one really depends on good tomatoes. Get the best, most ripe that you can because with tomato really shines here.

What to do: Heat pan or griddle to medium heat, add butter. Add baguette with Goat Cheese on it to pan.  Let the cheese warm on one side, top with tomatoes, before you add the send piece of bread with more goat cheese. Flip.

Maui Onion+Hallaumi: You can use any sweet onion here, Walla Walla, Vidalia. but of course, Maui is my personal favorite. The sweetness and the savory of the Hallaumi play nicely together. Make sure the cheese is room temperature when you start.

What to do: Heat pan or griddle to medium heat, add butter. Lightly “sweat” the onions in the pan until soft, but not transparent. Don’t overcook or allow to get “soggy”, they lose their unique flavor. In the same pan, add baguette with Hallaumi on it to pan, let it warm, add warm onions and cover with a little more cheese and baguette. Flip.

That’s my homage to my fellow blogger, GrilledShane and the place where I grew up: Wisconsin.

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About Tara DeWitt Coomans

An aspiring cook and an accomplished eater, Tara is inspired by the world around her and the food on her plate. "When you can't jump on a plane and take a vacation to an exotic destination, chances are you can whip up a dish or go to a restaurant that will take you there." says Tara. She often eats out at a restaurant after trying to accomplish a given dish at home. None the less, she enjoys food and what it says about the human experience. Tara is a full-time freelance writer and blogger. She specializes in writing about food, cooking and travel. You can find her in the kitchen, on the plane or at her computer.