grilled cheese cook-off.

so, since my last post i have done a little (ok, a lot) of research about grilled cheese sandwiches, since it is such an obvious addition to chicken noodle soup. and that's when i made the most amazing discovery of all...

...vermont has a grilled cheese cook off. that's right. it is held every june at the strolling of the heffers weekend in brattleboro. so mark your calendars, for june 4-6th, 2010. grilled cheese heaven, here we come!

just to get your mouth watering a bit, here is a sample of last year's winning recipes. all made with fresh, local, vermont ingredients. now i have to decide what to make tonight. decisions, decisions...

taste of vermont’s seasons goodness
what you need:
2 slices pane siciliano bread from
la panciata
1 tbls. cabot creamery butter
2 oz.
vermont shephard cheese
2 oz. grafton 2-yr. cheddar
2 each thinly sliced fresh pear
½ tsp. vermont honey
2.5 oz. cob smoked harrington's vermont ham (shaved)
½ tsp. 5-grain mustard

what you do:
lightly butter 2 slices of bread. saut̩ fresh pear in 1 tsp. butter for 1 minute, add honey Рremove from heat. slice cheese thinly Рplace cheddar on non buttered side of bread. add pear. add ham and spread mustard on ham. top with vermont shepherd and buttered bread. grill until evenly browned and crispy. cut on diagonal (very important) serves 1.

mad good grilled cheese sandwich
what you need:
1 lb.
grafton 2 yr cheddar
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced fine
½ cup roasted red peppers, chopped fine(about one fresh roasted)
⅓ cup toasted pecans, chopped fine
1 Tbls. worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. tabasco sauce (or more to taste)
1 large handful minced parsley
8 slices
red hen mad river grain bread
butter for frying
what you do:
blend softened cream cheese with all ingredients except the grafton cheddar, stir in the cheddar. heap a generous amount onto bread. heat butter in heavy pan, add sandwich and fry each side over medium low heat till melted and browned. serves: 4-6, depending on who is loading them.

south-of-the-border grilled flatbread, vermont style
what you need:
1 12” against the grain gourmet 3-cheese pizza shell
4 oz.
neighborly farms chipotle cheddar cheese, grated
2 tbls. refried black beans
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (
vermont smoke and cure, thick sliced)
2-3 tbls. cilantro vinaigrette (1 tbls. fresh chopped cilantro, 2 parts oil, 1 part white balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper to taste)

what you do:
prepare cilantro vinaigrette ahead of time for optimum flavor. cut pizza shell into halves. brush the top surface of each half liberally with cilantro vinaigrette. spread a thin layer of refried black beans on the bottom surface of one half, and top with grated cheese and bacon crumbles. close the flatbread sandwich and place on grill. Grill for 4-5 minutes until the cheese is melted and shell is toasted with golden grill marks. cut into quarters with pizza cutter to serve. serves: 4

the apple snap
what you need:
2 slices vermont bread's organic white bread
4 slices grafton-5 star cheddar cheese
3-4 slices tart apple (honey crisp, empire, etc.)
1 ½ tbsp. caramelized onions

what you do:
caramelize onions. peel and slice apple. grate cheese. melt butter in pan. grill sandwich. serves 1.

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