We take a run at our own “Grilled Cheese Du Jour”
Warm, toasty, melty grilled cheese. a comfort food reminiscent of child- hood or college days. a true classic that can’t be beat. Why stop eating it now that we’re all grown up? It’s a great standby whenever we’re in a crunch for time or just want something simple and delicious. But mugs inspired us to take our favorite melty sandwich from predictable to gourmet. This is a grilled cheese for the more mature, refined palate, deserving of good wine and great company.
– Sea salt
– Freshly cracked black pepper
– Olive oil
– 2 vine ripe tomatoes, sliced
– 1 cup balsamic vinegar (high quality)
– 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
– 4 slices provolone
– Fresh mozzarella ball (shredded/broken apart)
– 8 slices bread (we used a rustic multi-grain loaf, and sliced it thickly)
1. Pour balsamic into a small saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil over medium to medium-low heat. Let the balsamic reduce for ten to twenty minutes. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn. it’ll slowly start to thicken. Remove reduction from heat when it’s a nice, thick (but still pourable) glaze. Cool in fridge. Once reduction is cooled it looks a little thick, but it will be the perfect consistency.
2. Slice bread and drizzle olive oil on one side of each slice. Put one slice of bread, olive oil side down in pan and stack with provolone, and 2-3 tomato slices (sprinkled with the salt and pepper). Then top with chopped fresh basil leaves.
3. Finish off with mozzarella shreds on top. Drizzle a small amount of the balsamic reduction sauce (enough to moisten the bread but not make it soggy) over the cheese and put on the second slice of bread. Cook on medium high heat until cheese has melted. Flip sandwich carefully in pan and cook until second slice of bread is slightly toasted. remove from heat.
4. Serve along side fresh greens and remaining balsamic dressing.
COOK’S TIP: Experiment with different cheeses, such as Havarti or smoked Gouda. Try roasted red peppers or fire roasted tomatoes as a filler. If you like things a little saltier, add some garlic salt to the bread when you drizzle it with olive oil.