Admit it, even though you’re considered an adult on the outside, the kid on the inside still loves a good grilled cheese sandwich. Well in celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month I am going to give you some tips on how to step up that traditional sandwich and make it a little more gourmet. Let’s call it the ‘Adult Grilled Cheese’, but trust me, even the youngsters will enjoy this sandwich.
Let’s first forget the traditional white or wheat bread and graduate to a Rustic French, Asiago Sourdough or Rosemary Sourdough bread. These breads are a good base because they are more flavorful and nutritious than white breads. You will also need spreadable butter and fresh beefsteak or yellow pear tomatoes from Coborn’s. Don’t forget the fresh arugula or spinach, for taste and added nutrition. Time to add the meat. Meat in a grilled cheese sandwich you say? YES, add a fresh and thinly sliced prosciutto or ham to add amazing flavor and protein. What am I forgetting… Oh yes, the CHEESE! You will need goat cheese or a garlic herb Boursin cream cheese as well as a flavored Havarti or Baby Swiss. These cheeses will make your sandwich creamy, delicious and very gourmet!
Heat your skillet on the stove to medium heat. Spread butter on the outside of the sandwich and spread goat cheese or the herbed Boursin cheese on the other side. Place butter side of bread on the heated skillet. Layer arugula or spinach, tomatoes, ham and Havarti or Baby Swiss on the goat or Boursin cheese. Place the second slice of bread on top, butter side up. Heat until bottom side is golden brown and carefully flip and cook the other side until it becomes golden brown as well. Remove from the skillet and let stand for a couple minutes. Cut and serve with your favorite tomato soup.
Speaking of soup… What would grilled cheese be without tomato soup? In the spirit of upgrading, let’s move away from Campbell’s in a can and try some homemade Creamy Tomato Basil Bisque. Here is my favorite recipe below. Make it with fresh ingredients from Coborn’s or your own garden. I hope that you enjoy ‘growing up’ with your Adult Grilled Cheese and Creamy Tomato Basil Bisque!
- 2 T. Olive Oil
- 1 Stalk Celery, diced
- 1 Medium Size Carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 Red Pepper, diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1½ lb. Roma or Plum Tomatoes ⅛th
- 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
- 2 ½ Cups Chicken Stock
- 1 T. Sugar
- 1 t. black pepper
- ⅓ c. fresh sweet basil, chopped
- 1 c. half and half or heavy cream (room temperature)
- 2 T. grated parmesan cheese
- In a thick walled pot heat olive oil on medium heat.
- Add celery, carrots, red pepper and garlic.
- Cook for 5 minutes then fold in the tomatoes and salt.
- Cook an additional 10 minutes.
- Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil.
- Cover, reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes.
- Using a potato masher begin to smash the tomatoes; don’t worry if you don’t get all the tomatoes.
- Remove from the heat.
- Stir in the sugar, black pepper and fresh sweet basil.
- In a food processor or a blender, blend tomato mixture in small batches to your desired consistency.
- Pour back into the pot on medium heat and warm slowly.
- Once soup is warmed, slowly add the cream and grated parmesan cheese.
- Continue to heat soup thoroughly.
- Season to your liking.
Coborn’s Executive Chef/Retail Merchandiser
Click Here for more blog articles written by Chef Todd