Chef's Table: Three Varieties of Grilled Cheese

Feta & Slow Roasted Tomatoes on Olive Bread

Ingredients:

Roasted tomatoes:

6 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and halved

1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced

1 sprig of thyme

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon of salt

2 turns of peppermill

Sandwich:

24 ounces feta cheese, room temperature

8 slices of nicoise olive country bread (1/2 inch thick)

12 pieces of roasted tomatoes (see recipe below)

4 tablespoons olive oil

Method:

Roasted tomatoes:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Toss all ingredients in a bowl. Transfer tomatoes to a wire rack and place in the oven. Roast for about 2 hours (until dry but without coloring or browning). Remove from the oven and set aside.

Sandwich:

Lay out 4 slices of bread. Evenly cover each slice of bread with feta, then top with 3 tomatoes. On top of the tomatoes place another layer of cheese. Place the remaining bread slices on top to form a sandwich. Brush the outside of each sandwich with ½ tablespoon of olive oil per side.

Heat a 12-inch ovenproof saute pan over medium heat, and add two of the sandwiches. Cook until golden brown on both sides and the cheese has melted, then remove from the pan and set aside (If the cheese hasn't completely melted, finish in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F.) Repeat process with the two remaining sandwiches.

Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and cut in half and serve.

Serves 4.

Comte Reserve Grilled Cheese with Truffle Honey

Ingredients:

2 cups (18 ounces) grated 18 month aged Comte

8 slices of country bread (½ inch thick)

4 teaspoons truffle honey

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temp)

Method:

Lay out 4 slices of bread and top each slice with ½ cup of cheese. Coat each of the other 4 slices with 1 teaspoon of truffle honey and place on top of the sandwich (honey on the inside). Spread the outside of each sandwich with ½ tablespoon butter per side.

Heat a large ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat, add the sandwiches and cook until golden brown on both sides and the cheese has melted. (If the cheese hasn't completely melted, finish in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F.)

Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and cut in half. Plate and serve.

Serves 4.

Smoked Salmon Croque Monsieur

Ingredients:

16 ounces Pierre Robert
8 slices of brioche bread (½ inch thick)

10 ounces smoked salmon (sliced thin)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temp)

Method:

Lay out 4 slices of bread, and top each with one slice of smoked salmon, then add two slices of cheese side by side covering the salmon. Top with another slice of smoked salmon. Make sure to evenly divide the salmon and cheese. Place the remaining bread slices on top to form a sandwich. Spread the outside of each sandwich with ½ tablespoon butter per side.

Heat a large ovenproof saute pan over medium heat, add the sandwiches and cook until golden brown on both sides and the cheese has melted. (If the cheese hasn't completely melted, finish in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F.)

Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and cut in half. Plate and serve.

Serves 4.

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