Cheesemakers and Cheese Swells’ Favorite Grilled Cheeses
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Kerry Henning of Henning’s Wisconsin Cheese: “My favorite grilled cheese sandwich starts with well-buttered slices of hearty bread, grilled onions, a slice of 1 year old cheddar, and a slice of good quality ham.”
Tom Flournoy of Tom’s Tiny Kitchen: “My wife Jill makes an amazing one with our pimento cheese — both the Chipotle and the Original. Our pimento cheese as a GRILLED cheese is hard to beat. And of course, you have to use real butter on the bread and use a cast iron skillet or it just doesn’t taste the same!”
Bob Stetson of Westfield Farm: “My Favorite grilled cheese is an open-faced sandwich of Sour Dough bread (from Nashoba Bakery) topped with grated sharp cheddar (from Smith’s Country Cheese), chopped tomato cubes and a few jalapeno slices, all broiled to a toasty, melty mess.”
Rob Kaufelt of Murray’s Cheese: “I admit to partiality to the basics: grilled cheddar (I like Tickler these days for melting) on sourdough bread, with thick bacon grilled in a black metal skillet with lots of creamy Vermont butter. Our breakfast melt at Murray’s is always great.”
Sid Cook of Carr Valley Cheese: “Tough question; but I’d keep it simple: lots of my Wildflower Cheddar; making it gooey and filled with the floral tones of what the cows are eating in late spring. It’s aged 60 to 90 days and I consider it an extraordinary value.”
Mary Keehn of Cypress Grove Chevre: “Like many folks this is a comfort food for me so I like it to be yummy and easy. We have a great bakery here that makes olive bread – so I use a slice of that with a black olive tapenade and Midnight Moon orLamb Chopper under the broiler for a quick melt. When I’m making grilled cheese for friends I bring out Laura’s book and go crazy.”
Craig Gile of Cabot Creamery: “Like any cheese fanatic with a fridge filled with more cheese than I could ever fully use, innovative grilled cheese and mac ‘n cheese recipes are a must. One of my favorites is:
1. Sauté a small amount of garlic, then mix with butter. Use this mix on the outside of your bread.
2. Sauté equal parts jalapenos and caramelized onions together.
3. Two strips of very thick cut bacon.
4. Mix 3 parts shredded young Swiss or young gouda and 1 part aged cheddar, like Cabot 2-Year Vintage.
5. Put it all together, grill, and enjoy.
6. Pull yourself out of your food coma and hit your favorite gym, walking path, or recreational sport before you realize how many calories you just consumed.”
Burke Brandon of Red Hill Sheep Dairy: “Anything goes! I’m not fussed if it melts or not, so long as its nice and mature with some flavor. Just cheese and salt. On the other hand I love ham or a good Italian sausage covered in a fresh lactic sheep curd which blisters and caramels.”
Ian Coggin, Sales Director Dewlay Cheese: “The most delicious grilled cheese! Dewlay Creamy Lancashire.From Garstang UK.Grill one side of the bread untill golden, Lay the Creamy lancs on the uncooked side and pop back under a grill. Watch as it melts and bubbles into the most gooey creamy molten delight.”
Graham Williams, Owner of The Cheese Place: “ Appleby’s Cheshire! Its crumbly and aged so that when it is grilled it crisps up a little rather than melting. The intense flavour and the chesdhire saltiness make it a wonderful cheese for grilling.”
Michael Cramp, Chef Pre, Food Preparation at George Brown College: The absolute best grilled cheese I ever made was with a Welsh Black Mountain Sommerdale and a grilled onion compote on 12 grain bread grilled in a Pannini grill. But you must butter the outside of the bread for full flavor and calories but whose counting. Awesome flavor and the cheese melts extremely well. Decadence on bread lol.
Larry Rosenberg, Director at Couturier North America: Raclette with a dab of goat cheese and tomato slice on dark rye.
Eric Miller, Manager, Cheesemonger, Charcutier at Mission Cheese LLC: Bay area people should check out the “California Gold” at Mission Cheese! San Joaquin Gold, a bit of Chevre, fig preserves, and prosciutto on Della Fattoria Levain.
Lincoln Broadbooks, ACS CCP at The Better Cheddar in Kansas City: I have two. 1) Good old Port Salut and Shelburne Farms two year Cheddar on a whole grain bread. 2) P’tit Basque, thinly sliced Spanish chorizo and caramelized onions on crusty bread.
Janet Fletcher, Award-Winning Writer and Cheese Expert: My husband’s homemade bread, sauerkraut, Comte. And a bottle of Ommegang Hennepin.
Jimme Mares, Murray’s Cheese Master at King Soopers, Boulder, Colorado: My favorite Grilled Cheese Sandwich consisted of Taleggio, Gruyere, Sliced thin Speck Americano, and Fig Spread.
Lisa Futterman , ASC CCP – Pastoral Wholesale, Chicago - The secret to great grilled cheese is to spread mayo on the outside of the bread to use as the cooking medium. I’ll take a nice stinky fontina val d’aosta on whole grain bread with some Giardinera grilled inside.
Debbie Simon, Murray’s Cheese Master at Kroger, Cincinnati, Ohio - Cave age Gruyere, Murray’s fresh Mozzarella, Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar…We call it the triple threat toasted cheese… A must try!”
Leah McFadden – ASC CCP – Whole Foods, San Jose, California - I’m a sucker for grilled cheese made with Comte and caramelized onions… To die for!
Kristin Payne – ACS CCP – Whole Foods, Vancouver, BC - I’m hooked on Oka Artisan with roma tomato grilled cheese. A simple, slightly sweet, nutty classic. Heck Ya!
Allison Taylor, Co-Manager – Farm Shop, Los Angeles - Pimiento cheese or BLT :bacon basil aioli, tomato pesto, smoked cheddar and spinach.
Saxon Brown – ACS CCP and GFI (Gourmet Foods International), Mountain States Sales -I like a basic grilled cheese- good rustic (non-sourdough) bread, with grated Landaff from the Cellars at Jasper Hill (which I swear is the penultimate melting cheese). Cooked low and slow with a little butter on both sides, until nicely browned on each. I thank Laura Werlin, the queen of grilled cheese, for teaching me the grating trick, it really works.