I caught the episode of Oprah, the other day, that featured Martha Stewart. To say I am inspired by Martha, is an understatement. I am not only inspired by her creativity and business acumen, but by the way she conducted herself during her whole "unfortunate incarceration" (see my blog entitled Martha, Martha, Martha!! 5/25/10) - but I digress.......
During her appearance on Oprah, Martha made "grown up" grilled cheese sandwiches. She had all kinds of combinations: gruyere, procuitto, arugula and tomato on white... fontina, harissa, and pear on rye.....cheddar, jalapeno and cilantro on white, to name a few. She also had tips on how to perfectly grill the sandwich.
I love grilled cheese!! It, to me, is the perfect comfort food. When I was first pregnant, a toasty, warm, silky smooth grilled cheese was the only thing I could keep down!! During Martha's presentation, I was salivating!! She suggested having a grilled cheese bar as a party theme; please invite me!! A gourmet grilled cheese and a glass of crisp white wine sounds like a perfect evening to me!!
I was inspired to develop my own combination and challenged myself to come up with one from ingredients already in my house. Below is my creation - not as creative as Martha, perhaps and my pictures aren't expertly styled as hers (I took them in actual time as I cooked) - but, please enjoy.
Mozzarella, asiago, pesto and roasted red pepper on 8 grain bread....
I buttered the backs of both bread slices and
covered the inside with pesto
Added mozzarella, asiago and roasted red pepper
to one side of the bread.
Covered the roasted red pepper with another
layer of the 2 cheeses to help the bread stick
to the roasted pepper.
Grilled the sandwich on a panini press. Buttering
the bread first gives it lovely dark, crisp grill marks.
I served it with nice crisp, sweet honeycrisp apple
What I like about this combination is that the mozzarella's mild flavor and great melting ability works well with the sharpness of the asiago. The sweetness of the roasted red pepper goes nicely with the sharp taste of the asiago, while the pesto adds a herbed freshness. It would go well with a nice crisp sauvignon blanc, but I had it for lunch so I had sparkling water.
The combinations are endless when it comes to this great sandwich type; I challenge you to come up with a grown up grilled cheese sandwich with ingredients available in your kitchen today. What can you come up with?