Grilled cheese is a simple dish that can be as easy as American singles on Wonder Bread. However, here at Di Bruno Brothers we have a little saying that goes; “Why WouldJa Do That?” If you have stumbled upon this blog, that means you have access to some of the finest food on the planet. Exercise your right to be well fed. My grilled cheese for the month of April utilizes the very best Di Bruno’s has to offer you. The very foundation we built this company on is exploring culinary boundaries and pushing the limit of what is possible with the finest ingredients you can find anywhere.
I feel safe in saying this grilled cheese I made for the occasion, was a first and no one has ever before tasted the sheer decadence created in my kitchen that night. It was my goal to use the very best products we carry to properly let the world know that the boys at 9th street know how to eat.
The base for this sandwich is the classic ham and cheese; a blank slate with endless possibilities. My ingredient base was two cheeses and one meat. I chose our shop favorite and undisputed king, Montgomery’s Mature Cheddar, and a rare treat for 9th street, Scharfe Maxx 365. Monty’s is one of only three original farmhouse Cheddars from Cheddar England, rich musty and full flavored, it is a showstopper any way you eat it. My second cheese needed to stand up to its counterpart that has been named best cheese in the world more times than James Montgomery can count. Maxx 365 is the big brother of Scharfe Maxx. Affineurs select the best wheels of original Maxx and age them twice as long, then ship them out at the one year mark. Scharfe Maxx, when young, has a big onion and horseradish flavour that can easily overpower some dishes. As the cheese ages it loses its funk and develops a rich nutty tone and phenomenal mouth feel that goes unchallenged by other gruyeres.
With my two cheeses in hand it came time to choose my meat, that took about half a second to reach in the case and pull out our prized Spanish ham, the Jamon Iberico de Bellota. This all acorn fed hog from Spain carries a hefty price tag, but is worth its weight in gold for the amount of flavor it puts out. This prize of Spanish cuisine is usually reserved for simple plates where it can be enjoyed for exactly what it is. This buttery cured ham renders its fat at room temperature and has just enough salt to send your taste buds in overdrive.
I broke my golden rule for this gastronomical challenge. Generally when pairing “If it grows together, it goes together”. Regional elements tend to complement each other. This international conglomeration is the exception to the rule; I chose the best of the best. Without further ado, I present to you “The Million Dollar Grilled Cheese”.
1. Homemade flat bread:
2. Montgomery’s Mature Farmhouse Cheddar
3. Scharfe MAXX 365
Note: Make sure you have ample amounts of cheese to make sandwiches as well as eat during prep time.
4. Three slices of Jamon Iberico de Bellota, and again whatever you eat while making it.
5. Caramelized onions
6. Elastic waistband pants!
To make the flat bread, I used the same dough I normally make for pizza, with the addition of some extra olive oil. The oil helps to get a nice thin and flaky crust. Just carefully lay the flattened oiled dough onto a roaring hot pizza stone and pop it into the oven for at maximum of 5 minutes. This is just to get it firm enough to work with.
Now, with your lightly toasted flat bread ready, layer all your ingredients along half the bread. Put your assembled sandwich back into the oven. I baked my grilled cheese at 500 degrees directly on the stone until I could hear the cheese start to ooze out and sizzle on the hot stone. Fold over the bread to close your sandwich, cut it in half and gawk at the cross section of your masterpiece. The end product is best served gluttonously, with a Saison, pickles and a bowl of homemade tomato bisque.
Eat this one on the couch in anticipation for “The Itis” also known as a food coma.
WARNING: MAY CAUSE DROWSINESS! Alcohol could intensify this effect. Use caution when operating a car or dangerous machinery.