Monday, August 29, 2011

Pretty Cheesy Give-Away

My friend Mary Karlin, has written the best book on making artisan cheeses at home; not only is the book beautiful but Mary is a great teacher, and you will have hand holding instructions to make all your favorites from ricottas to blue veined cheeses.

 Who can resist this cover??  I want that cheese NOW!!  Mary teaches all over the country, and if you are fortunate enough to meet her, you'll love her easy style, and approach to food.  I'm privileged to have been able to work with her for the past 12 years, and when she comes to town, it's a pleasure to have her stay with Dr.C and I.
Now, for the give-away:  A copy of Mary's book is yours if you "like" my blog on Facebook and can answer this question: Which state produces 35% of all cheese in the US?
I'll choose a winner at random on Friday, so come on down! 

And now for a recipe using CHEESE, specifically Grilled Cheese; we have a saying in my house, that a good grilled cheese can't be rushed, so no scorching high heat, let that buttery outside crisp up low and slow, so that's it's golden brown and shatteringly crisp.  Perfection!  My favorite cheese for traditional grilled cheese is Cabot Farms white cheddar, then I like to match it up with a few goodies; like bacon, or pears, or apples, or smoked turkey, or tomatoes (for Dr. C.---I'm allergic to raw tomatoes)  But the cheese here should be the star... the add-ins are just enough to enhance flavor but not overwhelm.  I've been enamored with the Cuisinart Griddler since I was using it for soup and sandwich classes last year....although I don't own one, I'm coveting one. 

Sharp White Cheddar and Apple Grilled Cheese
Makes 2

Do everyone a favor and buy some nice sturdy bread for this, rather than Wonder bread.  It should be WHITE bread, a brown grilled cheese takes away from the golden brown goodness that happens when you grill the bread.  For some reason salted butter works best here, but if you only have unsalted, that's fine.  

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

4 large slices white bread (preferably an artisanal soft crusted Italian)
1/2 pound Cabot Farms Sharp White Cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
1 medium Granny Smith Apple, cored, and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sweet chutney, mixed with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  1. Brush one side of each slice of bread with some of the butter.  
  2. Lay two slices of bread butter side down into a non-stick skillet, lay the cheese and apple on top of the bread.  
  3. In a small bowl, combine the chutney and mayonnaise, and spread on the remaining pieces of bread.  
  4. Press the bread, mayonnaise side down onto the cheese and apples, and turn the heat to medium.  
  5. One side should take about 7 minutes, to crisp and turn golden.  Turn the grilled cheese and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, until the remaining side is crispy and golden.  
  6. Remove from the pan, and allow to rest for 2 to 3 minutes, then cut in half and serve.  Roasted tomato soup is the only accompaniment---I'll share that tomorrow!

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