One of my favorite snacks/meals/appetizers/whatever you want to call its, is fancy cheese with jam, honey, sliced apples and grapes, some quality charcuterie and good, warm bread. This sandwich is basically a mosh of my favorite snack, all melted together in the most delicious grilled cheese sandwich. The first time I made this rockstar of a sandwich was on Saturday for my breakfast/lunch after a late night with my girlfriends in the city. Needless to say I was feeling like absolute crap, and was in desperate need of something easy to whip up, but deliciously decadent enough to suffice as a hangover cure.
This sammich did the trick, but the glamour shots did not. It was super muggy and rainy and all of my shots were over exposed. I was also in ZERO mood to spend all of my morning/afternoon/whatever time it was trying to get the perfect shot. All I wanted to do was EAT it, and then sit on my butt and do absolutely nothing for the rest of the day. But, the beauty of having terrible pictures, (even though it means another day or two without blog posts), is that I had no choice but to whip that sucker up all over again. This time the weather was optimal, and I was feeling a LOT better, too.
I also just recently learned the secrets to making the perfect grilled cheese. I always grew up with plain jane Kraft yellow american cheese on Bunny bread (I think others similarly use Wonder bread), so the execution was never of great importance. But now that I am a big kid, making big kid grilled cheeses, learning the proper method is crucial for making a perfectly golden, melty yet crispy sandwich.
I did some research primarily on the Grilled Cheese Academy website (yes, it DOES exist!), which had plenty of fun and useful tips for achieving cheesy perfection. Three of the tips stood out to me the most:
1. Toast your bread before putting it in the skillet or on the griddle.
2. Grate your cheese rather than use cheese slices.
3. To ensure that you have a perfectly golden exterior with a completely warm and melted interior, cook the sandwich as slowly as possible over very low heat.
- About a ⅓ cup grated gruyere cheese
- 4 slices of triple creme brie
- about a tablespoon of apricot jam
- ¼ of a granny smith apple, (or about 6 slices)
- ½ cup of baby arugula
- 3 slices of prusciutto
- 2 slices of good quality bread
- butter or butter spread (I use Olivio)
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Bake the two slices of bread in the oven for about 8 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.
- Remove the bread from the oven (and turn it off) On one side of the bread, spread a layer of the apricot jam. Then place the brie so that the entire piece of bread is covered by the cheese.
- Place the apple slices on top of the brie.
- On the other side, evenly distribute the shredded gruyere cheese on top of the bread. Then scrunch the prosciutto and place the three pieces in a row (don't lie them flat on top of one another)
- Then place a large handful of the arugula on top of the prosciutto and drizzle with honey.
- Carefully close the sandwich, making sure everything stays in place and none of the cheese falls out (otherwise it will burn in the pan)
- Generously spread the butter (or olivio/butter spread) on the top. Place the sandwich gently into a small nonstick pan, butter side down. Spread butter or butter spread on top of the other side.
- Cook low and slow until the bottom is a nice golden brown. It is safe to press down every once in a while, to ensure that the butter is melting and everything is melding together nicely. This should take about 6 minutes.
- Flip and repeat until both sides are golden brown.