Do you love grilled cheese sandwiches? I do. I have fond memories of vacations at Lake Tahoe (one of the finest lakes in the whole world! Clear blue, super deep, extremely cold).
After a chilly swim in the lake, my sisters and I would meet on the porch and our mother would make us a warm lunch that included grilled cheese and tomato soup. A tiny slice of heaven.
But I digress. Back to grilled cheese.
[If you haven’t guessed by now, because I’m writing A Cheese Shop Mystery, I’ve become obsessed with cheese. I dream cheese. I Google cheese. I savor cheese.
[*My protagonist, Charlotte, would be very proud of me!]
By the way, did you know there are grilled cheese competitions? They’re sort of like Top Chef for the masses. People from all over the country attend the competitions offering up their versions of a grilled cheese.
I’ve got to include a competition in an upcoming book, don’t you think? Charlotte will be a judge. Her pal, Delilah Swain, who runs The Country Kitchen diner, will be a contestant. I’m seeing big possibilities here.
In the meantime, I’m trying my hand at a variety of grilled cheese combos. The best one will make it into the book as a recipe.
I’d use the same basic ingredients in all the cheese sandwiches -- turkey, cheese, bread -- but they’d taste decidedly different.This week, while I was making a grilled cheese with Wensleydale cheese and turkey, I thought, hey, what if I made this sandwich three different ways. My own version of Iron Chef.
And I’d rate them, with the help of my family and friends.
Here are the results.
An open-faced Wensleydale cheese and turkey broil.
A grilled Wensleydale cheese and turkey and ham.
A regular sandwich, not cooked, with Wensleydale cheese and turkey and homemade raspberry jam.
Wensleydale is produced in North Yorkshire, England. The pastures in Wensleydale give the cheese a lovely flavor of wild honey. It’s crumbly and moist and melts like a Caerphilly
The Wensleydale I’ve used actually came from Costco. Yes, you can buy good cheese at Costco. It is laced with cranberries and tastes incredible on a cracker or just by itself. It’s lovely with a glass of Pinot Grigio. The acid in the wine brings out the acidity in the cheese.
Here's how I constructed the sandwiches:
2 slices of bread
1 Tbs. butter
2 oz. sliced Wensleydale cheese
2 oz. sliced turkey
Heat skillet. Butter the bread on one side. Lay butter side of one slice in skillet. Layer with cheese and turkey. Put other piece of bread, butter side up, on top. Grill for about 3-4 minutes until bread is browned. Flip the sandwich. Grill another 3-4 minutes, until bread browned and cheese melted. If necessary, put a lid over the sandwich to help the cheese melt.
Open-faced Grilled Cheese
1 slice bread
2 oz. Wensleydale cheese, sliced thin
2 oz. sliced turkey
1 Tbs. Italian or raspberry vinaigrette dressing
Toast bread by itself first.
Remove from oven. Baste with dressing. Layer with turkey and then cheese.
Put under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until crispy.
Serve warm with sliced fruit or small green salad.
Regular Cheese and Turkey Sandwich
2 slices bread
2 oz. Wensleydale cheese
2 oz. sliced turkey
2 Tbs. raspberry jam [I used my sister Kristy's homemade jam! Fabulous!!!]
Spread jam on 2 slices of bread. Layer cheese and turkey on one slice. Top with the other slice of bread spread with jam.
As for the taste test, my husband and I both agreed that the grilled cheese was the best, but the "regular" sandwich is fabulous and would taste great grilled. And the open-faced sandwich was a lovely morsel of good flavors. Go figure! We love grilled cheese.
If you want to know more about A Cheese Shop Mystery series or the first in the series, The Long Quiche Goodbye, click on my website: Avery Aames.
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