Grilled Cheese To Please: The Weston
Had a wonderful time last Saturday at the Farmers Market at Norfield Grange in Weston, Connecticut. I held a Grilled Cheese cooking demo, so it was a good time to introduce my newest Grilled Cheese creation — The Weston, named in honor of the town I cover for The Weston Forum newspaper. The demo was a great way for me to take off my news hat, put on a chef’s hat, and interact with Westonites on a more personal basis. In addition to cooking up samples, the market asked if I would sell whole sandwiches. No problem! But that meant at lunch time it got very busy, so I was fortunate to have two great volunteer assistants, my colleague Steve Saxton (some people say he looks like actor Justin Long), and Catherine Kimberly. They handled tasks like grating cheese, grilling, and serving sandwiches with aplomb and good humor.
The Weston was a BIG hit. People liked the combination of Cheddar and Smoked Gouda cheeses, crunchy bacon, and smear of homemade Tomato Jam. I added apple chunks to this jam just for The Weston to make it special. The best endorsement was when several children (who will be very truthful) gave it a thumbs up. So without any further ado, here is a quick slideshow of the cooking demo and the recipe for The Weston:
The Weston Grilled Cheese
(Makes one delicious sandwich)
2 slices sourdough bread, ½ inch thick
1-1/2 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater
1-1/2 ounces Smoked Gouda cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater
2 slices cooked, crisp bacon
1 tablespoon Tomato Jam (See Recipe Here)
For the outside of the bread:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
1. In a small bowl combine butter and rosemary. Spread half the rosemary butter on outside of each slice of bread and place each slice buttered sides down in a frying pan over medium heat.
2. Turn heat down to medium low. Top one slice with shredded Cheddar, the other slice with Smoked Gouda. Cover with foil or lid and cook about two to three minutes until the cheese starts to melt.
3. Remove foil or lid and add the bacon on top of one slice and spread the tomato jam over the bacon.
4. Lift the other slice with a spatula and place it cheese side down over the bacon slice. Press down on the sandwich with a spatula, or use a cook’s weight or brick wrapped in foil. Cook until bread is toasted and golden brown on the bottom, about two to three minutes. Flip, press down again and cook another couple minutes until second side is golden. Remove from pan, cut and serve!
IF YOU ARE IN THE WESTON AREA AND LIKE PIE: I met a number of cool vendors at the Farmers Market including Martha who made terrific denim aprons for me and Steve, and the delightful Lulu who runs Lulu’s Pies. I gave Lulu a Grilled Cheese, and she in turn offered me slices of her homemade Chess Pie and Chocolate Pecan Pie. Heaven on a plate! The market is open for one more day, this Saturday, May 4, before it closes for the season. So if you’ve never tried Chess Pie, you owe it to yourself to try Lulu’s. It doesn’t get any better. Really!
Photo credit: Catherine Revzon