It’s National Grilled Cheese Month!
Now, THAT is a cause worth celebrating, no? In homage to this festive gala of cheese, I had planned on making a ton of different sandwiches and posting my favs. But lo-and-behold, a blogging event at Panini Happy was egging me on. No time to debate which cheese has the best tang to meltability (it’s a word) ratio. Time to get cooking!
Sour cream in grilled cheese?
I recently read something that cookbook author extraordinaire, Donna Hay, had developed a grilled cheese recipe which involved mixing cheese with sour cream. I thought that might work really well for cheeses that aren’t great melters – plus give it an added tang. And since I have a penchant for aged cheese (a 12 month Manchego in this case), I thought this might be a good idea for me.
A little sweetness
Next up – I like grilled cheese with a touch of something sweet. A thin layer of chutney, hot pepper jelly, or maybe a little fig jam might be nice. In my fridge is a container of dates just hanging out – all bored and neglected. I thought maybe pureeing them with a little pomegranate molasses might make a nice spread.
Finally, who doesn’t love a little cured ham? Serrano would have been my first choice given the Manchego cheese and date combo, but my grocery didn’t have it. So prosciutto it is!
Put the whole thing on some country bread, fire up the cast iron skillet, add a ton of butter and a fabulous sandwich is only minutes away.
Date, Manchego and Prosciutto Grilled Cheese
Makes 2 sandwiches
4 oz grated Aged Manchego cheese
1 T sour cream
4 slices Country bread
4 slices Prosciutto or other cured ham (cough Serrano…Jamon Iberico…cough)
1-2 T buttter for skillet
For Date Spread:
1/4 cup dried, pitted dates
1/4 cup boiling water
1 t pomegranate molasses
1. Make the date spread: soak the dates in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Add the pomegranate molasses. Puree in blender/food processor. Set aside.
2. Combine grated Manchego with sour cream and pinch of salt. Set aside.
3. Take 2 slices bread. Spread date spread on one side of one piece of bread.
4. Layer one slice prosciutto on each slice of bread.
5. Place half of the cheese mixture on one slice of bread. Spread to edges.
6. Place other slice of bread with prosciutto on top.
7. Heat cast iron skillet over medium for a few minutes. Add half of the butter. Swirl to coat the pan. Place sandwich in pan and grill on both sides till as golden brown as you like it (some of us like things more burnt than others!).
8. Repeat steps 3-7 for second sandwich
Ms. Pantry Raid