When I first read that Chris Kimball had a recipe for grilled cheese sandwiches, I thought he had gone off the deep end. Next he’ll be telling me the best method for pouring a bowl of breakfast cereal. But then I watched the episode of America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) where they interviewed people who were obviously just as skeptical as I was about using a recipe for grilled cheese sandwiches. Per the recipe, I found cheddar that was aged for one year (heading the advice to avoid cheddar aged for longer; as it won’t melt well). Of course the Brie was easier to track down. While the recipe doesn’t take much more time, ATK claimed 5 extra minutes, it does make a considerably mess (food processor, bowl, sheet pan and wire rack). I was not expecting these grilled cheese to have a classic flavor profile, but I was slightly disappointed that it failed to impress me. The flavors were different, but not necessarily better. The shallot and wine seemed a bit out-of-place. I liked the more expensive cheese, but the cheese slightly separated and oozed out too much. 3-1/2 stars.
Rating: 3-1/2 stars.
Cost: $6 for 4 sandwiches.
How much work? Low/Medium
How big of a mess? Medium.
Started: 1pm. Ready: 1:45pm.
Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I cooked it today are given below:
7-oz cheddar cheese (aged up to 1 year)
2-oz Brie cheese
2 tablespoons dry white wine or vermouth
1/2 shallot (4 teaspoons minced)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
8 slices hearty white sandwich bread
- Either leave your cheddar and butter out on counter-top until it reaches room temperature or microwave for 30 seconds. Cut cheddar into 24 equal pieces. Cut away and discard rind from Brie. Mince your shallot.
- Add cheddar cubes, Brie and wine into food processor and process for about 25 seconds until forms a smooth paste. Add minced shallot and pulse 3 to 5 times until combined.
- Use a rubber spatula to combine the butter and mustard in small bowl.
- Line your counter-top with 18″ of parchment or wax paper. Evenly spread mustard/butter over 1 side of all 8 slices of bread.
- Flip 4 of the slices so that the buttered side faces down, and use your spatula/knife to evenly spread the cheese over the 4 slices. Close your sandwiches with the remaining 4 slices of bread.
- Place a 12″ non-stick skillet over medium burner and pre-heat for 2 minutes. You can test by flicking drops of water into pan and they should sizzle.
- Reduce burner to medium-low, and cook 2 or 3 sandwiches at a time. Cook for 6 to 9 minutes, occasionally moving the sandwiches to ensure they brown evenly. Flip sandwiches and brown for another 6 to 9 minutes.
- Remove sandwiches from skillet and allow to sit for 2 minutes before serving. The first sandwiches can be held in a 200-degree oven on a wire rack set in a baking sheet.