The last two days at the manse have been a blur of grilled cheese sammies after being selected as one of ten finalists in Emmi USA‘s “Gourmelt” Grilled Cheese Recipe Contest.
As a finalist, I received a Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler and samples of Emmi USA’s Imported AOC LeGruyere and Mild LeGruyere.
The finalists, all Food Writers, were challenged to create a grilled cheese using the LeGruyere and the Griddler and post it on their website.
I have made plenty of grilled cheese sammies over more years than I care to count, but I had never used an electric griddle… so I had to practice, practice, practice… I played with just cheese, cheese on the inside and the outside, pulled lots of jams, jellies, pickles, chutneys from Spaulding’s Cheese Fridge and after several trial sammies, all of which The Man sampled and loved, here’s my creation:
This recipe is enough to make 2 large sandwiches (The bread was round so the middle pieces, which I used, were larger than regular sized bread).
8 ounces Emmi LeGruyere, Shredded (I used the smallest side of the grater) – about 2 1/2 cups of shredded cheese.
4 ounces Bellentani Prosciutto, sliced paper-thin (Bellentani is a domestic prosciutto and excellent quality and price.I could not find a website.) (I had Genoa Salami as a back-up in case the prosciutto didn’t work out… silly me…)
1 large sweet onion, sliced thin (I used Vidalia.)
1/2 bunch of raw asparagus spears, washed and shaved (I used the potato s;icer side of the box grated – made s;ices just the right size for the sandwich.)
Salted Butter, room temperature (any premium butter is fine; I used Plugra.)
Rustic Bread (I used Sicilian Bread, scratch-made at New Seasons)
Kelly’s Jelly Pine-A-Peno Jelly (A combination of pineapple and jalapeno; a nice sweet finish and a little heat to pair with the savory sandwich.)
Preheat your griddle on medium high. (You don’t have to use a griddle; if you use a frying pan, I suggest non-stick.)
Slice the onion in thin slices and saute in melted butter over medium low heat until caramelized, about 20 minutes.
While the onion cooks, shred the LeGruyere cheese. Wash and shave the raw asparagus (do not cook).
Once the onions are cooked, drain them on paper towels and pat to remove any excess butter. (If you use the pan for the sandwich, wipe out excess butter but you don’t need to wash it.)
Spread butter on tops and bottoms of bread.
Place bread, butter side down, on your work space and build your sandwich.
Cheese first, don’t skimp; it’s a grilled cheese, not toast… pat it down a bit to make the cheese flat and not mounded.
Prosciutto next. I scrunched it up rather than laying it out flat.
Asparagus on top of the meat. Make a full layer. The heat of the grilling will cook it just enough.
More cheese. Pat down again to make sure everything is distributed flatly on the bread, for ease while grilling.
Top with other slice of bread, butter side up.
Grill for about 5-7 minutes until golden brown and cheese is gooey and melted.
Let sandwich sit for about 2-3 minutes before cutting in half and serving.
Clean up after yourself… or get The Man to do it…