Friday, October 7, 2011

Not your average grilled cheese sandwich.

It's time to throw that Wonder bread and Kraft cheese away!  We are talking gourmet grilled cheese today.  Grilled cheese isn't traditionally thought of as a healthy thing to eat, but I'm going to give some examples of ways you can make it a little more healthful than it usually is.  
Mari's post on that perfect fall butternut squash curry soup inspired me to make a fall dish I have had my mind on for a while.  Utah decided to go from 85 degree weather to snow in the matter of 24 hours, so it was the perfect excuse to make this delicious fall dish.  Here is the recipe (I got it from one of my favorite chefs, Chuck Hughes.  Love him.) for a lovely tomato soup and some iPhone pictures of the process:


  • 2 tablespoons/30ml olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 12 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 piece Parmesan rind, optional
  • 1/4 cup/60ml 35-percent cream
  • 2 tablespoons/30ml butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving
  • Chopped fresh chives, for serving


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the brown sugar and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes more. Add 1/2 cup water, the thyme and Parmesan rind, if using. Cook for about 25 minutes.Discard the thyme sprigs and Parmesan rind. Puree the soup in a food processor or with an immersion blender until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve set over cleaned saucepan. Stir in the cream and butter. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan and chives.

Caramelizing shallots.

 Aged white cheddar and shallot filled grilled cheese.  YUM!
Tomato Soup.

Here are some grilled cheese recipes I have tried, or am dying to try that I came up with:
  • Focaccia bread, mozzarella, basil and heirloom tomato, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil
  • French bread with brie, cranberry, and roasted turkey
  • Whole grain bread with fire roasted bell peppers, jack cheese, spinach, rotisserie chicken and spicy mustard
  • Whole grain bread with aged white cheddar and caramelized onions
  • Sourdough bread with olives, tomato, and Parmesan cheese
  • Wheat bread with Gorgonzola, prosciutto,  and caramelized pears
  • French bread with Havarti, apples and ham
  • Rye bread with avocado, chicken, and pepper jack cheese
Try adding fruits, veggies, and sources of protein to you grilled cheese next time you're in the mood for one!  It will be delicious and much more nutritious than  ever before.  I'd love to hear what combinations you come up with and what inspired you!  Share in the comment section below.

Happy and healthy this lovely fall season,

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