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Grilled Cheese buffet

Tuned in to Oprah today because Martha Stewart was the guest. IMO Oprah has become insufferable and Martha's a close second, but at least she is always good for some useful tips and good ideas. She suggested a DIY grilled cheese bar for entertaining - with a small or large variety of sliced cheeses, good breads, condiments, fresh herbs, thin-sliced fruits, vegetables, and meats. I was actually only listening, not watching, so I don't know what the set-up was as regards skillets or panini presses. She also had a couple of soups, I think. IMO, this is a winning idea for home entertaining and group meetings that include lunch. Even a fairly elaborate spread can be economical, and unused food can be taken home for future use as components of other meals.

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  1. I don't pay any attention to Oprah or Martha ever but...a couple years ago I went to a local high end restaurant and was amazed to see a grilled cheese appy. I asked my waiter about it and sounded good and I had to try it. I received an assortment of mini-grilled-cheese-sandwiches with different condiments, herbs etc on the plate for each one. These were small maybe 2" x 2" each made with various quality sheep, goat and cow cheeses and it was great. Yummy. A whole new level of grilled cheese. The cheeses were all high quality, like Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Jasper Hill Blue, Gordonzola etc. So good I had to order another for my friends to share or they would have gobbled up my app. Of course I stole this idea for use at home frequently.

    2 Replies
      1. re: jackzchow

        One of the higher-end restaurants in this area is known for a similar appetizer: grilled cheese "soldiers" (fingers) served with a rich cream of tomato soup to dip them in. I have never seen it, just heard about it. I think they just use a quality cheddar.

      2. This sounds amazing, but that might be because I love grilled cheese.

        So how would you set it up? First a big platter of bread slices, cheeses, meats, fruit, veggies... then just a couple of sandwich presses at the end of the table?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Japanecdote

          As I wrote in the OP, I was listening, not watching, so I don't know what the set-up was. You can probably fit 4 sandwiches at a time in an electric frying pan. You could probably find today's Oprah show to watch online.

        2. I'm honestly surprised no one has started a restaurant centered around this concept. I absolutely love the "Mongolian barbecue" restaurants where you make your own stir fry and they cook it up for you, and in Raleigh there was a cereal bar for awhile, though I think it went under. I think a restaurant where you could choose from a menu of cheese, herbs, veggies, fruits, bread, etc and accompany it with a soup or something would make a killing with all ages and incomes. I'm drooling just thinking about it.

          4 Replies
            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              and I am jealous as all get out....the grilled cheese truck is on my food to-do list.

              1. re: HillJ

                i wish i could have one in your honor. we need a gluten-free grilled cheese truck!!

          1. The original poster who started the "What's For Dinner? thread talked about his "grilled cheese" nights that he had often where he provided 6 or 8 breads, 8-10 cheeses or so and also provided different meats & condiments and sometimes soup as I recall My take on it was that everyone made their own sandwiches & he grilled them on his commercial flat top grill in his kitchen at home. From what I gathered, this was a regular affair. . Everytime he described these affairs, my mouth watered.

            3 Replies
              1. re: ChristinaMason

                I love parties where the guests make their own plates up from the hosts buffet. They tend to be very social and sharing experiences. The last one we attended the host set up three assembly stations; fill your crepe, dip your fondue, grill your skewer. A few punch bowls, a green salad and the party was such a blast. The grilled cheese idea is sure to make the party circuit this month.

              2. LOL, I watched this episode and I don't think Martha addressed how to cook them for a crowd. There were 2 skillets and Martha and O each made the other a sandwich. Martha being Martha, did say do NOT press down on the sandwich, otherwise you are making a panini, not a grilled cheese.
                BTW, she served them with Bloody Marys, not soup:)
                I'm planning on trying this, sounds like a fun idea and pretty much everyone loves grilled cheese. Fortunately I've got a flat top, but I'm sure a few skillets going at once would do the trick.

                1 Reply
                1. re: BubblyOne

                  A large flat top plug in grill or griddle would work. Or a few George Foreman type grills.. or a combo of both.

                  It's a great idea, especially with tomato soup on the side.