The Ultimate Grilled Cheese Redux

Sometimes, what might seem like a brilliant blog idea can lose momentum and fade away if we don’t just sit down and write it. Looking through many photos of our cooking we’re amazed at how many missed opportunities have gotten away from us – great ideas unwritten and unpublished. So to make amends we’re finally getting around to writing and publishing a blog that we started several months ago. We figure since the guy that predicted the rapture was wrong–twice, we have time to prepare for the next BIG party.

Back in May, the day before the “first” rapture was supposed to happen, Jason was in our kitchen making a big batch of grilled cheese sandwiches for an Artist Opening at Zannah Noe‘s Velcrow Studio. Making the sandwiches took hours, and as the time went by Jason thought about the type of food one would serve at a rapture party. We’re Gleeks (we’ve seen all the Glee episodes multiple times) and it seemed obvious to Jason that Grilled Cheesus would not only be the ultimate rapture food, but it would coincide with the season finale of Glee–assuming we were all still here. Alas, the season ended, the world didn’t, summer rolled over us like a truck and here we are, approaching Halloween, and this darned grilled cheese post is just now seeing the light of day.

All the fixings for the ultimate grilled cheese.

So now we’re in our kitchen prepping more sandwiches again, for Zannah Noe’s Open Studio on Saturday, October 29, TODAY! We will be at her studio with our panini maker, bread, and lots of cheese. The Ultimate Grilled Cheese is a Ruth Reichl recipe that we fell in love with after seeing it on the PBS holiday special, A Moveable Feast, which featured several cooking show hosts preparing their favorite holiday food. Ruth’s grilled cheese sandwiches are wonderful and adaptable to any, and all, cheese. The point is to experiment.

With All Hallows Eve only a couple days away, and the holidays fast approaching, if you need a quick and easy appetizer that everyone will love, try the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich. They are so good that if the rapture does happen these sandwiches will be your ticket to Heaven.

The Ultimate Grilled Cheese

1/3  pound Swiss cheese, shredded
1/3 pound Irish cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
freshly ground pepper
6-8 slices No-Knead bread or good quality bread

Mix the shredded cheeses with the onion, shallot, garlic, and ground pepper. Place between two slices of bread using a panini maker to grill the sandwiches, or butter both sides of the sandwich and lightly grill in a skillet over medium low heat.

Green Things & Popcorn

Crispy, crunchy Green Things.

If you need a quick, healthy, and delicious snack that will satisfy the pickiest eaters in your household, it’s time to try green things. You’re probably thinking: what are green things? We’re referring to leafy green vegetables, like kale and collard greens, slowly dehydrated in the oven with a little olive oil and salt. These crunchy veggies offer a fun way to eat your greens. If you haven’t had leafy green chips before, this is a must try. The leaves dry out in the oven and become brittle and crunchy instead of chewy and tough. With the addition of a little salt and smoky paprika, the flavors deepen, tasting like the delicate leaves have been slow roasted.

In addition to our oven toasted “chips,” we’ve recently rediscovered an all-time favorite American snack-food: popcorn. In spite of all the kernels that have been popped over the years, it’s one of those snacks that we haven’t embraced, until now. The air popcorn maker we own is a super cheap one that we bought for the purpose of popping corn that we then used as packing material (just another one of our dirty hippie tricks). Cheap works for popcorn poppers, and if you prefer to pop in oil, a pan and a little oil on the stovetop works well and costs pennies.

In the last couple of months, we have pulled out the air popper and started trying out a variety of flavors and spices on our popcorn. A little olive oil, salt and pepper is delicious. Add a bit of freshly grated Parmigiano cheese, even better. We’ve even had the occasional sweet tooth that requires something a bit more decadent than salt. Jason recently made a nice maple crunch popcorn that we couldn’t stop eating. Our favorite flavor, so far, comes as a result of an experiment with the green things described above, crumbled and added to a bowl of fresh popcorn. The result is a wonderful, complexly flavored crunchy snack that is packed with nutrients.

Green Thing Chips

Bunch of Kale, Collard, Chard (or any other leafy vegetable)
Drizzle of olive oil
Sprinkle of smoked paprika
Salt

Preheat oven to 250 – 275 degrees. Wash the greens and remove the stem. Spin the greens dry in a lettuce spinner. Lay the greens out on a baking sheet, or two, trying not to overlap the greens. Drizzle a little olive oil over the greens and toss with your hands. Sprinkle salt and paprika and bake for about 12-15 minutes, checking and rotating the pans every 5 minutes. Pull out of the oven and eat as chips or toss the chips in a bowl with air popped popcorn.