Who doesn’t love a great grilled cheese with toasty, buttery bread and oooey, gooey cheese, dripping and stretching as you take a bite? It is good anytime of year, but it’s especially terrific when it’s cold and rainy outside–like it is today.
I grew up on grilled cheese, perhaps like many of you did: pan-fried in butter with one slice (two if you were lucky) of orange, pre-sliced cheese peeled from its individual house of cellophane. As a child, I thought it was pure heaven. And, to make my heaven even better, a bowl of tomato soup for dunking.
I do think there is something about a grilled cheese that speaks of pure comfort for kids. In fact, in a world of special menus for kids, grilled cheese is a ubiquitous choice.
But, we are all adults now (I’m assuming you’re over the age of 12 if you’re reading this blog) and our tastes have matured a bit – maybe even expanded to accommodate bolder flavors. Yet, we are still 12 at heart, longing for the tastes and comforts of our childhood.
I think I have the perfect solution for you to fulfill that rainy day, comfort food desire that fills both the child and the adult longings.
Belle Chevre employs a very creative chef – Chef Rick Vonk – at our Cheese Shop & Tasting Room in Elkmont, Alabama. In addition to serving up fantastic Saturday Suppers on special occasions, Vonk has created some amazing sandwiches for our lunch menu. Our 5 Cheese Grilled Cheese is, in my humble cheesy opinion, the best grilled cheese on the planet – and certainly the best grilled cheese I have ever had.
If our childhood grilled cheese started and stopped with a slice of orange cheese, then imagine that taken to a whole new level with five cheeses – Gruyere, Gouda, Cheddar, Smoked Gouda, Belle Chevre Fig Breakfast Cheese… and then add caramelized onions and proscuitto. And then, snuggle all that cheese between two toasty pieces of sourdough bread.
Here is the recipe from Belle Chevre’s Cheese Shop & Tasting Room, and my recipe for Tomato Soup (from my first cookbook – Tasia’s Table) to go along with it.
Belle Chevre’s “Best Grilled Cheese in the World” 5 Cheese Grilled Cheese
Shredding the hard cheeses helps them to melt more quickly and produces an oooey-gooey result. For best results, always use high quality cheeses.
2 slices good quality Sourdough bread
1 oz each shredded Gruyere, Cheddar, Gouda and Smoked Gouda
1 tablespoon of Belle Chevre Fig Breakfast Cheese
2 oz sliced Prosciutto
1 oz caramelized onions
Preheat griddle or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat. Butter one side of both slices of bread. Spread fig Chevre on one slice of bread (opposite the buttered side). Place the other slice of bread, buttered side down, on a preheated griddle or skillet. Top with shredded cheeses, onions and prosciutto. Add the other slice of bread on top – fig Chevre side down, and buttered side up.
Toast each side for 3 mins or until golden brown. At this point, cheese should be nice and melted. Let cool slightly on a wire rack before serving – this prevents the sandwich from steaming if put directly onto a plate.
Slice in half and serve with tomato soup if desired.
Creamy Tomato Soup
2 ½ tbs butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
2 tbs all-purpose flour
2 (15 oz) cans pureed tomatoes
A pinch of baking soda
2 ½ cups chicken stock
¾ cup half and half
kosher salt & pepper
Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and oregano; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft (or about 5 mins). Stir in the flour, then add the tomatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat. Simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes. Let cool briefly, then puree in a blender.
Return the pureed soup to the pot, and add in the half-and-half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
There is nothing better for a winter meal, in my humble cheesy opinion. Bon Appetit!
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