I couldn't let National Grilled Cheese Month end without creating a wildly delicious grilled cheese sandwich. At first, I wanted to recreate Hog Island Oyster Company's famous three-cheese panini at home. However, I didn't have time to go to Cowgirl Creamery at the Ferry Building and pick up the exact cheeses the oyster place uses to make the 'wich. Thus, I decided to invent my own version using three types of cheese from my local supermarket.
For authenticity, I selected Cowgirl Creamery's most famous cheese, the triple cream Mt. Tam. This acts as a binding cheese that's hold the sandwich together. Next, I wanted a cheese ideal for melting, so I opted for an Italian fontina. Finally, for a layer of extra flavor, I choose a cave-aged nutty gruyere. The resulting sandwich is to die for, a truly gourmet creation that is both comforting and elegant. To look at my recipe,
Patience is the key to making this sandwich. For the bread to be perfectly crisp and the cheese oozingly melted, you must cook it slowly.
1 loaf of ciabatta bread
butter, for melting
1/8 of Cowgirl Creamery's Mt. Tam cheese
2 ounces Italian fontina, thinly sliced
1/4-1/2 cup finely grated cave aged gruyere cheese
- Cut the rounded edge of the bread off. Discard. Slice a large chunk of bread, 3-4 inches wide. Place the rest of the ciabatta back in the bread bag and reserve for another use.
- Cut the ciabatta chunk in half horizontally, so you have a top piece and bottom piece.
- Peel back the wrapping on a stick of butter. Rub the butter on the outside of the bread.
- Pull out some of the bread's filling. Discard.
- Cover both pieces with a smooth layer of Mt. Tam.
- Top the bottom piece of bread with the sliced fontina, covering completely. Carefully mound the grated gruyere on top.
- Close the sandwich by placing the top piece over the gruyere.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Melt 1/2 teaspoon of butter in the skillet.
- Carefully set the sandwich in the skillet. Place a heavy pot over the bread and press down.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes until the bread is browned and crisp. Flip and cook for another 8-10 minutes until the top is crisp and the cheese is throughly melted.
- Slice in half and enjoy immediately.
Makes 1 sandwich.
- Main Dishes, Sandwiches
- North American