Isn’t this grate?
To make a fabulous grilled cheese I highly recommend you spend some time tasting the options at your local cheese store. It’s not only good for the final grilled cheese: it’s a lot of fun too! Noerah and I spent one lunch hour at Murray’s cheese where the selection is both overwhelming and appealing. I decided to blend three regional cheeses which tasted too good to pass up, and which I felt would play well together.
This cheese tasting adventure led me to a beautiful clothbound cheddar – a collaboration between Cabot Creamery and Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont where the wheels are slowly aged. The cheese has a strong cheddar flavor, with some nuttiness and is beautiful to look at with an geological layering and a crumbly texture (I hand crumbled this cheese rather than grating it per the recipe)
The 5 Spoke Creamery Tumbleweed is a farmhouse cheese with a slightly sweeter and fruitier flavor and a creamy, buttery texture. The cheese is made with raw milk from the creamery’s own herd of grass fed, pasture roaming cows which is used within hours of the cows being milked. The aging process is carefully overseen so that the natural flavors of the milk can be enhanced.
The tarentaise from Spring Brook Farm is another artisanal cheese, made with raw milk from the farm’s own herd and aged for up to a year. The cheese has the flavor of a rich gruyere. In addition to the taste, I liked that the cheese was made at a farm run by a nonprofit that supports the Farms For City Kids Foundation
Grilled three cheese sandwich
yield 1 sandwich
- 4 oz grated cheese (i used a mix of the three cheeses noted above, but you could do a mix of cheddar and gruyere with excellent results, or have some fun selecting your own cheeses)
- 2 slices bread: cut on the diagonal into 1/2” thick slices to create an elongated elegant slice. (Since the cheese will be the star of the show I recommend a bread that will stand up to the cheese but stay in the background. I like a white peasant loaf.)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature.
- Mix the cheeses together in a small bowl.
- Place a skillet on medium low heat and allow it to warm up while you prepare the sandwich for grilling.
- Butter one side of each piece of bread generously with 1 tablespoon of butter. Place the first slice of bread butter side down and heap the grated cheese on top. Add the second slice, with the butter on the top side, facing out.
- Place this sandwich into the skillet and leave it to start cooking without touching it for 2-3minutes, then press down on the top of the sandwich a few times with a spatula until you hear a lovely sizzling sound. When the bottom side is golden flip the sandwich over (about five minutes) and repeat the grilling sequence on the second side.
- Remove and eat fresh of the grill while hot and melty (with or without the scrambled eggs and green salad in the photograph above!)