We all know how much I love cheese, putting together a cheese platter, and then grazing said cheese platter. In fact, I’m sitting here writing this post, having just polished off the mini dessert grilled cheese sandwiches you see pictured here, and am now working my way through a large bowl of mac and cheese. Cheese. So good, right?
So when a cheese company offered to send me free cheese, how could I possibly resist?! Disclaimer: I received a mild gruyère (the cheese you typically find on French Onion Soup), and a Kaltbach cave-aged gruyère from Emmi Roth USA plus a fantastic panini press/grill.
All this was delivered to me, free of charge, in order for me to create a grilled cheese sandwich using the Emmi cheeses, which would be entered into a recipe contest. I have not received any further compensation, all opinions expressed are my own, and I really hope I win the recipe contest! So check out the Emmi Facebook page and watch for my entry of dessert grilled cheese as well as the other entires. Back to the good stuff! Where was I?
Oh yes, I love cheese!
I felt strongly that the above sentence needed it’s own space on the page. If there is a party or social gathering that involves food (and why wouldn’t there be food?) you can rest assured that I will happily supply a cheese display. I always have a few types of cheese, breads, charcuterie, and fruit. Fresh fruit and dried fruit both pair fabulously with cheese. David and I hosted a summery dinner party last weekend, and this Emmi gruyere scored a place on the cheese display. By the time dinner was served, the gruyere was gone. Nothing left. Thankfully I hadn’t chopped up the entire block so I still had some all to myself. If that isn’t a testament to the tastiness of this cheese, then I don’t know what is. Gruyere is commonly found on top of French onion soup, in fondue mixed with other cheeses, and in the classic French sandwich croque monsieur. It is creamy, salty, nutty, and has a distinctive flavor that let’s you know it there and its gruyere without overpowering other flavors in the dish. Since experimenting with this cheese, I’ve had a hankering for French Onion Soup, but it’s summer here and I just can’t eat soup nowadays. So I improvised. I caramelized an onion, placed it on top of two chicken breasts during cooking, then topped with cheese for the last 10 minutes to melt it. French Onion Chicken! It was quite delicious.
I’ve had several recipe ideas float in and out of my head when trying to come up with a new spin on grilled cheese. French Onion Grilled Cheese? California Grilled Cheese with Sriracha Ranch Dipping Sauce? Swiss Caprese Grilled Cheese? While setting up the cheese board for last weekend’s dinner party, I was sampling a few of the items together. I had fresh strawberries since they’re in peak season, and I always have honey on my cheese displays. A go-to combination for me is a slice of green apple with a smear of brie dipped in honey. So I took a slice of gruyere and a strawberry, and I dipped those together in honey, and it was delicious. My dessert grilled cheese idea was born. I used a French baguette here, but I know sourdough would work fabulously as well. After this photo shoot, I drizzled a little homemade dark chocolate sauce on the cherry grilled cheese, and some reduced balsamic on the strawberry grilled cheese. Both were wonderful and added their own element to the overall flavor profile. I love the simplicity of the cheese paired with fruit and honey, but you can certainly take it up a notch with dark chocolate or sweet reduced balsamic. Make sure to grill or griddle these mini sandwiches well so they get a nice and crisp exterior!