Tag Archives: fancy grilled cheese

Balsamic Short Rib Grilled Cheese

10 Nov

I am a real sucker for a good grilled cheese.  Heck, even a bad grilled cheese can turn my mood around.  I had an extra short rib in the refrigerator after making beet braised beef short ribs and was thinking about what to make.  While on a walk with Zak and the dog, I had a stroke of genius.  Grilled cheese!

I used a combination of colby jack and pepper jack.  The heat of the pepper jack worked well with the subtle sweetness of the balsamic vinegar and the colby-jack added a lovely creaminess to the whole thing.  As you can see, I slightly burnt the bread, so I adjusted the cooking time accordingly.  I wasn’t planning on posting this so I figured it was no big deal to walk away from the sandwich in the pan to do something totally unnecessary – but it was so darn good I couldn’t resist despite the slightly charred appearance.

Balsamic Short Rib Grilled Cheese

2 slices whole wheat bread

1 tbs. olive oil

Meat from one leftover short rib, shredded

1 tbs. balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup colby-jack cheese, shredded

1/4 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded

Non-stick cooking spray

In a small sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add shredded short rib and cook until ends are darkened and caramelized.  Add balsamic vinegar and cook until reduced.

Spray both sides of the bread with non-stick cooking spray.

Place one type of cheese on each slice of bread.

Spray a 10″ cast iron skillet with nonstick cooking spray.  Heat over medium-high heat.  Add bread, cheese side up, and cover.  Cook until cheese is slightly melted, about 2 minutes.  On one side of bread, add shredded short rib.  Assemble sandwich and cook another 2 minutes until cheese is totally melted.

Cut in half and serve immediately.

Pureed Caramelized Onion and Butter Bean Soup with Caramelized Onion and Green Bean Grilled Cheese

23 Feb

Zak is travelling to LA for business this week and is tacking on the weekend to visit friends and family.  So I’m all by my lonesome.  I was a little mopey until I realized that I could take advantage of his absence.  A lot of people cook for one, and I wanted to focus on how it doesn’t have to mean microwavable meals and lunch meat sandwiches.  I also wanted to take advantage of showing how easy it is to cook mostly from the pantry.  Finally, I wanted to cook all of the things that I refrain from making on a daily basis because I know Zak doesn’t like them as much as I do.  For example, cheesy, delicious comfort foods and sardines.

Take this dish: a can of beans, a can of green beans, some onions, and some cheese and you have a delicious, decadent soup and sandwich meal on your hands.  There was very little hands on time for this dish, and it filled my lonely house with the delicious, tantalizing smell of caramelizing onions and simmering beef stock all evening.  The soup turned out wonderfully – creamy from the butter beans with a sweet smokiness from the caramelized onions and homemade beef stock.  The sandwich had a lovely amount of sweetness from the caramelized onions and green beans, and the bread of the sandwich absorbed the flavors of the oil in which the vegetables were caramelized.  Despite being easy as pie, both components of the dish packed a lot of flavor.  The soup could be made ahead and reheated, and the vegetables could be pre-caramelized and then added to the sandwich at the last minute.

Pureed Caramelized Onion and Butter Bean Soup with Caramelized Onion and Green Bean Grilled Cheese

Pureed Caramelized Onion and Butter Bean Soup:

2 tbs. olive oil

1 tbs. Brummel & Brown

1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with flat of knife

1 15 oz. can butter beans

2 cups homemade beef stock

1/2 tsp. garlic hot sauce

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Heat olive oil and butter in a small stock pot over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic cloves and season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Sauté 20-30 minutes until onions are golden brown.  Add butter beans and stir to coat with oil and Brummel & Brown.  Add beef stock and reduce heat to low.  Simmer, covered, 1-2 hours until flavors have developed and liquid has reduced by 1/3.

Transfer to a food processor and puree by pulsing machine 20-25 times.  Add garlic hot sauce.  Taste for seasonings and adjust hot sauce, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.  Transfer back to stock pot and simmer until ready to serve.

Caramelized Onion and Green Bean Grilled Cheese:

1 tbs. olive oil

2 tbs. Brummel & Brown, divided

1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 cup canned green beans

2 slices whole wheat bread

4 oz. Swiss cheese, thinly sliced

In a 10″ cast iron skillet, heat olive oil and 1 tbs. of Brummel & Brown over medium heat.  Add onions and green beans and sauté 30-40 minutes until caramelized.  Remove vegetables from skillet, reserving oil and butter that remains.

Coat both sides of whole wheat bread with remaining tbs. of Brummel & Brown.  On one piece of bread, layer half of the cheese.  Top with caramelized vegetables.  Top with remaining half cheese.  Place other piece of bread on top.

Heat reserved oil and butter in cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  When skillet is very hot, add sandwich and grill 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown.  Cut in half diagonally and serve with soup.

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