Larrupin

Uncommonly Good

Grilled Cheddar and Ham

Today’s selection is ham, sharp cheddar cheese, and dill pickle on homemade bread smeared with Johnny Walker’s Mustard #7.   I think you get the picture.

Coming soon: Gouda, Jarlsberg, Gruyère, Pepper Jack…  grilled chicken and pineapple, turkey and cranberry, steak and red peppers…

Larrupin!

Grilled Cheddar and Ham

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April 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grilled Cheese Month: Tuna

Today I used tuna for my grilled cheese lunch. Pretty darn tasty!

I started with one over-sized slice of bread and cut it in half.

Bread with Honey Mustard and Mozzarella

 

Next, honey mustard went on both pieces of bread.  This sandwich turned out a bit sweet, so next time I would switch to Dijon or a less sweet variety of honey mustard.

 

 

I put mozzarella on one slice of bread and cheddar on the other slice.

 

 

 

Dill Pickle, Cheddar, Chunk Tuna, and More Cheese.

 

 

A dill pickle went on one side, and I carefully piled well-drained chunk tuna on the other side.

 

 

 

 

I topped the tuna with more grated cheese before putting the sandwich together.

 

 

 

The griddle was about “just right” hot, so it was time to add a puddle of olive oil. Both sides of the sandwich were smeared in oil before I left it to cook for a few minutes.

 

 

 

 

Look at that perfect golden brown toastiness!

 

The chunk tuna made this a little more fragile, so I had a fork handy for the droppings.

 

 

Banana peppers would be a tasty addition but I’m out right now. And it needs something red. A sprinkle of pimento, or roasted red peppers would be just the ticket!

Of course you can make this full-sized for a hearty eater, but I’m trying to behave myself these days.

 

 

Larrupin!

 

April 8, 2011 Posted by | Tuna | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

April is Grilled Cheese Month

I love a grilled cheese sandwich.

Grilled CheeseThe most random ingredients can be stacked up between cheese and bread, placed on an iron skillet for a few minutes and taste magnifico!

My most recent grilled cheese was: French bread smeared with honey mustard, topped with Gruyère, Cajun turkey, bread and butter pickles, then more Cajun turkey, more Gruyère and topped with another slice of bread with more honey mustard.  That was a couple of days ago.

A couple of weeks ago I made this ham and cheese. I used Dijon mustard, Gruyère, ham, and dill sandwich sliced pickles. Pickles provide an unexpected pop of flavor to the traditional grilled cheese. The cheese isn’t oozing out of this one, but it’s melted just enough to hold everything together.

Instead of smearing this with butter—which I totally love—I poured a significant puddle of olive oil on the hot griddle. I plopped the sandwich in the middle of the oil and quickly flipped it to soak the other side before leaving it alone to grill.

Grilled Ham and Gruyere with Dill Pickles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My 12″ square iron griddle makes it easy to cut the sandwich while it’s still on the heat so I can see how melty the cheese is. If I let the heat get too high (darn electric stove!) and it’s browning faster than it’s melting, I’ll turn it frequently so I can keep it on the heat longer. I’ll also cover it with a large lid propped on the side of the griddle. An over sized lid will hold the heat in but also let the steam escape so the bread will continue to crisp.

Larrupin!

Grilled Cheese

April 7, 2011 Posted by | Sandwich | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Brie and Cranberry Sauce

Update: I posted this about a year ago and today came across another tasty way to combine these two flavors. These baked brie bites come from Joy the Baker.

They are hot little treats on a stick… all full of melty cheese.

Joy the Baker suggests Cherry Jam, and she says you can use your personal favorite jelly or jam but my mouth immediately watered for cranberry sauce.

This would be a great way to introduce new flavors to kids or anyone who steers clear of anything different. They won’t see the rind on the brie, and they won’t see the lumpiness of the homemade cranberry sauce. They’ll probably just ask for another one.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programing

– – – – – –

I subscribe to a handful of food and recipe blogs and newsletters so my mailbox usually has a half-dozen or more recipes in it each day. I’ve noticed brie and cranberry sauce in the subject of  more than a few emails the past few weeks.

Cranberry Brie
Mmmmmmmmmm.

Here’s how I put them together.

I sliced a small loaf of  French bread into slices about a half-inch thick. They went into the toaster oven and I turned the oven to about 325° or so just to warm the bread and barely toast it.

I smeared each slice with a thin spread of butter (I happened to have unsalted butter at room temp today) and topped it with a thin—about 1/8″ thick—slice of Brie. Then I slid the baking sheet back into the toaster oven at the same setting for a few minutes. It won’t look melted, but after a few minutes touch the cheese with a knife to see if it’s ready. When it’s soft and smearable it’s time to take it out.

Next I spread cranberry sauce on top of the cheese and slid it back in the oven for another minute or so. Just long enough to take the chill off the cranberry sauce.

Then I ate them. All by myself. I think I’ll go make some more.

Larrupin!

December 29, 2010 Posted by | Appetizer, Sauce | , , | 1 Comment

Leftovers Lasagna, NOT Leftover Lasagna—yet

Lasagna and Breadsticks

Leftovers Lasagna and Cheesy Parmesan Breadsticks

I thought my brother was coming to town over the weekend so I offered to help mom out by fixing lasagna for a family dinner/football watch party on Saturday night. I offered because I had a package of ground beef and two packages of Italian sausage I needed to freeze or use.

I’m still out of a job so my mom wouldn’t have let me cook if I was going to have to buy anything.

I cooked up the meat the same day, bagged it up and put it in the fridge.

Turns out my brother got sick and had to cancel, but fortunately I found out before I’d committed to using the entire three plus pounds of meat. I split the meat into three freezer bags and put it in the freezer.

Game night rolls around so I pulled one bag out of the freezer and made a quick batch of spaghetti for Dillon and I to eat during the game. It was really good! The dinner, and the game! We won!

I have a tendency to make too much pasta for the sauce I’ve prepared so this time I went on the conservative side and ended up with just the right amount for dinner, but then had leftover meat sauce when we finished.

I was still in the mood for lasagna so on Sunday I whipped this up with the leftovers… thus the title.

Following my plan to use only what I had on hand I pulled out an opened tub of cottage cheese for the cheese layer. I added an egg, a scoop of sour cream (just because I like it) and mixed it up. I also had some slices of provolone and Farmers cheese handy.

Lasagna

Leftovers Lasagna: Layered and Read to Bake

Instead of boiling the lasagna noodles, I tried a tip I saw on TV recently. I soaked the noodles in a casserole dish filled with hot water. I used hot water from the tap and let the noodles soak while I mixed the cheese and got everything ready to layer. It worked like a charm.

Since I wasn’t making a full size lasagna, I put this together in a loaf pan. I was able to use scissors to cut the noodles to the right length and size. The noodles were a tiny bit crispy, but if I’d let them soak 5–10 minutes longer, or poured boiling water over them they would have been perfect. At any rate it removed one gigantic step from the process.

So I layered it and put it in the oven and went to work on my cheesy Parmesan breadsticks.

Cheese Parmesan Breadsticks: Before

Cheese Parmesan Breadsticks: Before

I popped open a can of Pillsbury Breadsticks and dried the casserole I used to soak the lasagna.

Pillsbury Original Breadsticks

Pillsbury Original Breadsticks

I swirled a splatter of olive oil in the bottom of the dish. I wanted to use melted butter, but opted for a healthier fat. I separated the breadsticks and coated them with oil. I left them flat and sprinkled my own blend of seasoning over the top and then turned the breadsticks and seasoned the other side. Next I grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses over that. I twisted the sticks as directed added more cheese and then put the dish in the oven next to the lasagna.

About 12 minutes later the breadsticks were golden brown.

Cheesy Parmesan Breadsticks: After

Cheesy Parmesan Breadsticks: After

Mmmmm!

Leftovers Lasagna: After

Leftovers Lasagna: After

Very impatiently, I tried to wait the suggested 5-10 minutes to let the juices set a bit before cutting it, but I still dipped it out pretty juicy. No matter. It tasted great!

Now I have leftover Leftovers Lasagna to warm up for lunch or dinner the few days.

Larrupin.

December 6, 2010 Posted by | Casserole | , , , , | Leave a comment

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