Working in Philadelphia’s social services, my old roommate often endured tough days. Days that often resulted in the same, simple, comforting meal. I’d watch as she’d come into the kitchen, butter two slices of bread, pull some cheese out of the fridge, and proceed to prepare her ultimate nutritional anaesthetic: the Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
April is Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month. When tasked with creating a grilled cheese sandwich for the occasion, I asked myself "What kind of grilled cheese concoction should I make?" I love bacon and all kinds of different meat and cheese (especially blues!) What special combination can I come up with that was simple, but with no meat? This goes completely against my grain!
Do you know one thing that people really love for lunch? Soup and a sandwich! Another thing people absolutely adore: French Onion Soup! Here’s a tasty creation to satisfy their hunger using a blend of delicious French cheeses and fresh, hearth baked bread. It’s what I call “The Very Cheesy Grilled French Onion Soup Sandwich”.
When I set out to develop a new grilled cheese, I wanted to accomplish a few things: First, I wanted it to be quick and easy. This is a must for any grilled cheese in my book. Second, I wanted to burn some cheese. For me there is nothing better than cheese that slips through the holes or escapes from between the slices and is kissed by the heat of the pan and transformed into a chewy burnt magical state.
For my contribution to National Grilled month I've chosen some hearty cheeses and condiments to pair with delicious (if difficult to photograph) pumpernickel from Hudson Bread.
One of the best things about working at the 9th Street is the diversity of our selection and of the products available at the Mexican markets surrounding us. My grilled cheese uses elements from several different cultures which is really what being “American” is all about if you ask me.
One of the most unusual parts of working in the food industry is acknowledging obscure food holidays. April, for instance, is "National Grilled Cheese Month." There are certainly other important dates in April (Easter, my anniversary and my birthday, to name a few), but we will be putting time aside to celebrate melted cheese on toast.
It’s the year of the goat. Everywhere I turn: goat dinners, goat tacos, goat talk. This means I should let you in on a little secret about Leonora. It’s the most luscious Spanish goat cheese on the planet. The texture is gooey-soft, and it comes in a slightly flattened brick that looks like a melting ice cream cake roll. If you’ve sworn off sweets for Lent, you might want to pick up some Leonora for dessert.
I never grew up eating Pecorino, but this winter it’s become my go-to cheese to serve with soups. The nutty flavor of this quintessential Italian specialty comes from sheep’s milk, and because it’s a rich, fatty cheese a few curls shaved onto a broth add beautiful dimension.
As far as I’m concerned, cheese and coffee make up their own food groups. The dynamic flavors and chemistries attainable by both of these items allow for thousands of different possibilities. I’ve had a long-term relationship with coffee for a few years now, while cheese is a slightly newer affair (luckily coffee hadn’t caught wind of it). Leading up to this past weekend, I decided it was time to introduce coffee to my mistress.