Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tribute to Grilled Cheese #3: Prosciutto, Fig and Brie, Oh My!

The first thing you need to know about this flavor combination:  there are no words to describe how incredible it tastes.  Which makes writing a story about it very difficult.  But I'll try!

MMmmmmm mmm mmmmMMMm mmmm, mmmm mm MMMMMmmmmm....
That's pretty much all I can say about that.

Grilled Cheese Tip #3:  Use a complimentary flavor when "greasing" your bread. 
For example, if your sandwich is Mediterranean or Italian-flavor inspired, use extra virgin olive oil.  If your sandwich is buttery and rich like this recipe, use butter.

Proscuitto, Fig and Brie Open-Faced Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients (per sandwich): 

The bread:  Something moist and chewy.  I used a hearty, dense multigrain bread from a local bakery.  I also like a good rustic Italian-style whole grain bread. 
Good quality Butter for spreading, room temperature
1 slice Prosciutto, very thinly sliced (aka the "standard" prosciutto cut)
2 oz. Good Brie (at least double cream. Triple-cream brie is even better)
1 1/2 Tbsp. Fig Spread/Jam


First, be sure to set out your brie and butter a few hours ahead of time to allow them to come to room temperature.  While it is still cold, slice your brie in 1/4-in slices and place on wax paper, then set aside to ripen.   
2.  Place all the prosciutto you will need for as many servings as you are making in a single layer on a broiler pan and bake at 350 until crispy, approx. 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.
3.  Spread butter thinly on both sides of a slice of bread.  Place bread in skillet over medium heat and toast one side.
4.  Be sure to have all of your ingredients handy at this point.  Once you turn the bread, you'll want to work fast!
5.  Once one side of the bread is golden brown, turn and begin topping the toasted side with your ingredients.
6.  Spoon fig spread onto bread and spread as evenly as  possible.   Add slices of brie to the top of the bread to cover the slice, leaving 1/4-in around the edge to allow for some melting.  Add a crumbled slice of prosciutto to the top, cover and allow the cheese to begin melting.  After 1-2 minutes, remove cover and  continue heating until cheese has melted to your preference.  Bottom of bread should be golden brown.
7.  Remove from heat and enjoy!  Goes well with a crisp bubbly!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Happy Summer! Strawberry, Avocado and Goat Cheese Salad

by Jaelyn

Regardless of what the calendar says, summer doesn't begin on June 21.  Summer either begins:  1. For kids, when school is out; or 2. For big kids, on Memorial Day weekend.

So, now that it's "officially" my summertime, I am in the mood for fresh, colorful, light and tasty foods!  This super-easy salad combines a few of my favorite things into one delicious experience.   You are going to absolutely love it! 

Strawberry, Avocado and Goat Cheese Salad

Ingredients (per salad)
1 c. spring mix greens
1/4 c. sliced ripe strawberries
2-3 heaping Tbsp crumbled goat cheese (I like a lot on mine, but it just depends on how much you love goat cheese!)
1/2 large avocado, sliced
2 Tbsp. toasted sliced almonds*
1-2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinaigrette -OR- this yummy vinaigrette, Brianna's Blush Wine  ----> 
1 tsp. chia seeds (optional)

Combine all ingredients, pour yourself a glass of white wine, and enjoy!  :-)

*to toast almonds, put 1/2 c. sliced almonds in a skillet over med-low heat.  Toss/flip the almonds every minute for the first 3 minutes, then every 30 seconds until golden brown.   Watch carefully and turn more often if necessary - once nuts begin to cook, they can burn quickly.  Cover and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.


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