Recipes from Artisanal Bistro's Grilled Cheese Contest
I was thrilled that a sandwich I created was named a finalist in Artisanal Bistro's (NYC) recent Grilled Cheese contest. While my entry, Three Cheese Crisp Sandwich, was not the overall winner, the judges had very good things to say about it and it is something I'm proud of. So, I'll share the recipe with my fellow hounds. Just being a finalist was absolutely wonderful. I had a great time. The contestants were terrific, congratulations to Lizz Spano the winner.
More about the contest on the CH Manhattan board:
Links to the winning sandwich recipe "Drunken" Raclette Grilled Cheese," and recipes from the other sandwich finalists including mine:
The Three Cheese Crisp is on Sourdough Bread and contains Fontina and Gruyere cheeses with a layer of Parmesan Crisps in between. It's grilled in fresh rosemary infused butter.
I'm a purist. To me, a Grilled Cheese is all about the cheese. Other additions however, are certainly tasty. My friend Steve loves to add bacon to my sandwich and my husband adds less soft cheese and four Parmesan Crisps to his. Whatever works! Make it how you like it! My recipe has exact amounts (as required by the contest rules) but add less or more cheese to your taste and to accommodate the size of your bread. One thing not to skimp on: To make the Parmesan Crisps you need to use good quality imported Italian Parmigiano Reggiano. Domestic without a rind or the stuff in the "Green Can" will not work! They don't crisp.
In the next two posts underneath I will post the sandwich recipe in two parts. Part one is the Parmesan Crisps and Part two is the sandwich recipe. Please enjoy!
These can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container until ready to use. This recipe will make more crisps than needed for a sandwich. The extras are for the cook!
8 tablespoons fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (Italian, imported) , grated on the large holes of a box grater.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line a rectangular baking pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
3. Place a 2 ½-inch biscuit/cookie-cutter on the mat at least one inch from the top and side of the pan, and sprinkle one tablespoon of cheese evenly into the mold. Remove mold and repeat with remaining cheese, spacing cheese mounds at least one-inch apart from each other and the sides of the pan.
4. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until the cheese crisps start to turn golden brown.
5. Remove from oven and let set a minute, then remove crisps and place on cooling rack until cool. Yield 8 crisps.
Three-Cheese Crisp Sandwich
Ingredients for one grilled cheese sandwich:
2 slices sourdough bread, ½ inch thick
2 ounces Fontina cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater
2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater
2 Parmesan Crisps (See recipe above)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
1. In a small bowl combine butter and rosemary.
2. Spread half the rosemary butter on outside of one slice of bread.
3. On the unbuttered side, sprinkle with the grated Fontina cheese. Cover with two Parmesan Crisps, then sprinkle with the grated Gruyere cheese.
4. Top with second slice of bread, spread the top with the remaining rosemary butter.
5. Place sandwich in a non-stick frying pan over medium/medium high heat. Place a 9-ounce cook’s press weight (or something similar) on top and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until bottom is golden brown. Remove weight and flip, placing weight on top again, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until that side is golden brown.
6. Remove from pan, cut sandwich in half and garnish with a Parmesan Crisp.
This is the contest's winning recipe, now being offered on Artisanal's menu:
"Drunken" Raclette Grilled Cheese
2 slices of 1/4 inch thick Peasant Bread
3 oz French Raclette, sliced
1 smashed red potato (recipe to follow)
1.5 oz Whiskey Caramelized Onions (recipe to follow)
6 cornichon, sliced in half
1/2 tbsp butter
Aluminum foil for tenting
Dijon Mustard (optional)
Directions: Heat a nonstick griddle on medium heat for 5 minutes. Butter both slices of bread and place butter side down on the griddle. Add the slices of Raclette on open sides of bread and cover the griddle with a tented piece of foil for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese has started to melt. Remove the foil and add the smashed potato to one side of bread and caramelized onions to the other. Distribute cornichon among both sides of bread. Using a spatula, close the sandwich and continue to grill until the cheese is completely melted and the bread has toasted. Serve immediately with a dollop of grainy, dijon mustard if desired.
Whiskey Caramelized Onions
1 tbsp butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
6 tablespoons Irish whiskey
Generous pinch of salt
Directions: In a large skillet melt butter and olive oil. Add sliced onions and a large pinch of salt. Stir to coat onions with oil and butter and allow to cook for 5- 10 minutes or until the onions start to brown. Add whiskey and stir to incorporate. Continue to cook and stir occasionally until the alcohol flavor has dissipated onions are well caramelized with little moisture in the pan.
1 red potato
Directions: Boil the potato until fork tender. Remove potato and transfer to a sheet pan drizzled with olive oil. Use a potato masher to smash the potato and season with salt pepper and olive oil. Bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes or until the potato is browned and crisped.
your directions are as clear as can be. especially about what size of grater hole to use! I read the article, also. I have to add that you have a strong stomach to have gone into this competition because I'm not so sure that I could do it. That's a tough environment for something as personal as food but you really did well!
Just a quick follow up. I was asked by the local Grange to do a cooking demo of my Three Cheese Crisp at a Farmers Market. I did the sandwich prep and chatting while my friend and co-worker Steve did the grilling. Went through 14 pounds of cheese, four pounds of butter, loaves and loaves of Sourdough bread, and fresh rosemary. (All provided by the Grange.) Great response from the public and a fun time. Some pix below. And yes, the very nice lady in the last shot was having a When Harry Met Sally, "I'll have what she's having" moment.