Thursday, July 14, 2011
Grilled Cheese fit for a Queen
Every now and then I stumble across some inspiration that gets my gears going... It could be a picture in a magazine, a post by a fellow blogger, or even just a few mismatched words strung together... I am pretty easily inspired.
Well the inspiration for what I am about to share with you was pretty obvious...
I mean, she basically spelled it out for me.
But then I took the notion and RAN with it!
I mean I went WILD!
I have been craving Brie cheese lately anyway, so the fact that Food Coma's little sandwiches had Brie cheese in them made it a pretty obvious choice.
And the idea of combining it with strawberries and jam and serving it up grilled cheese style?
So I took that inspiration, and combined it with a family recipe from my childhood. Brie en croute with some sort of spicy sweet berry chutney or compote.
Pretty tasty stuff.
So instead I stacked my Brie on top of a huge slice of thick fluffy French bread slathered with Berry Jalapeno compote, then topped the cheese with slices of fresh strawberries.
Then I smacked on another thick slice of bread, fried the whole thing in butter, and as an after thought I threw some mint in it/on it.
One bite and I melted along with the delicious creamy pools of Brie...
So take my word for it: it doesn't matter if you need a delicious brunch idea, a dainty summer lunch, or even an appetizer (or light main course) for dinner... You HAVE to try these!
Grilled Brie and Berries
4 thick slices of French bread (about 1 inch or so)
Strawberries (I used 4 medium sized strawberries)
Berry Jalapeno compote (or substitute for a berry preserves or compote of your choice. I like the bite the jalapeno gives)
Turn the broiler on and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and rip off a sheet of foil.
Slather one side of each bread slice with butter.
Lay two of the slices butter side down in a cold skillet. This is to make the stacking and transferring easier.
Slice your strawberries thinly and layer on top of the bread in the skillet.
**In the pictures I did the compote first, then the Brie, then the strawberries, but before I started grilling I flipped one of the sandwiches over, so the strawberries were on the bottom, and found that this makes it much easier in the long run... So do as I say: not as I did...**
Slice the Brie into thick slices, about 1/2 an inch. Layer on top of the strawberries.
Spread 1 tbsp of the Berry Jalapeno Compote on to the unbuttered side of the remaining slices of bread.
Lay on top of the sandwiches in the skillet (do I need to say buttered side up??). Press firmly down for good measure.
Plop a pat of butter into the pan for good measure and turn the burner on to medium heat.
As the butter melts and sizzles tilt the pan to make sure the butter slides evenly around the two sandwiches.
Cook only until the bottom of the bread is browned. You do NOT want to burn the bread: just get a nice golden delicious crust on it.
Very carefully flip the sandwich over. You may have to slightly reassemble after the flip.
Add another small pat of butter (for good measure, you know?) and cook like you did the other side. I slid mine up against the sides of the pan to stabilize them... The strawberries and the top piece of bread were trying to make a break for it. But I put a stop to that!
When both sides are beautifully golden, transfer to the parchment lined cookie sheet and tent with foil (this is to keep it from burning) and pop in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese, about 1-3 minutes.
Garnish with mint, or if you are feeling daring: lift up the top piece of bread and add a couple of fresh mint leaves right on top of the berries.
Pour yourself an ice cold glass of sweet tea with a couple of mint leaves, take a bite of your decadent grilled cheese fit for a queen (or even a king, perhaps), and smile.
Because it's just that good.