Here are the four winning recipes for the WCCO Heavy Table Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe Contest James Norton’s notes included.
AMEE’S GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH SPECTACULAR
6 large ripe tomatoes – peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped (use Roma tomatoes if it’s not tomato season)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar – little less if in tomato season
Salt – pinch
To make the jam: Place all the ingredients in saucepan over medium-low heat. The mixture should bubble very lightly but not actually boil. Cook for about 1 hour, or until the jam has thickened and the majority of the liquid has evaporated. Let it cool. (You can make this up to 1 week in advance. Store in the refrigerator).
12 ounces Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese (white or yellow)
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
8 sandwich-size slices sourdough
6 tablespoons Tomato Jam
Butter bread on the outside, put 2/3 slices of cheese and the jam, put in pannini press or saucepan, flip when sides are browned.
NOTES: Tomato jam actually easy to make, just takes a bit of time. Sandwich tastes like an inside-out grilled cheese dipped in tomato soup, where the sweet tang of the tomato is actually contained within the bread. Very nice!
NORWEGIAN-FRENCH GRILLED CHEESE
Take bakery or store bought apple chunk bread (currently in season-available)
Place sliced Gjetoste cheese (a Norwegian cheese with a caramel-like flavor) in the center
Create an egg batter with 2 eggs, 1/8 t vanilla, dash of cinnamon
Dip sandwich in egg batter and fry in butter until golden.
Serve with a fan of thin sliced apples on top.
NOTES: Between the fruit in the bread (I used cinnamon raisin bread), the egg-batter, the caramel-like gjetost, and the apples on top, this is really a stuffed French toast recipe, as opposed to grilled cheese! But it’s excellent – everything balances very well.
SPAM GRILLED CHEESE
Ground up SPAM (yes I said SPAM) any flavor works although I love the Hickory smoked
Any type whole wheat bread
=BD tsp chopped chives
=BC tsp garlic
=BD tsp onions
1 cup finely shredded Colby Jack cheese
Mix this all together
Spread on non buttered side of bread
Place other slice of bread on top of filled bread- butter side up
Grill until lightly golden brown
Brooklyn Center, MN
NOTES: I liked the smokey note of the SPAM and the bite of the chives and onion. Also very easy to make – you can batch up a lot of filling and make any number of sandwiches, or refrigerate the filling for later. Probably my #1 choice, but we can talk about that.
GARLIC GRILLED CHEESE
Chunky garlic bread (we use Costco brand)
Mozzarella cheese slices
Butter one side of 2 slices garlic bread. Place one slice, buttered side do=
wn, in fry pan. Place slice of onion on bread, cheese and top with second s=
lice of bread. Grill over medium heat until bread is browned and cheese beg=
ins to melt. Turn sandwich and brown second slice of bread.
NOTES: I appreciated how the onion cut back against the richness of the butter and cheese, and although it’s simple, it’s a really pleasing variant on the cheddar cheese norm. Good stuff.