12 April, 2007

The $10K Grilled Cheese (why didn't I think of this?)

I’ve made it no secret that I love Paula Dean. I love her recipes as much as I love Martha’s crafting projects. Don’t get me wrong now, I do love Martha’s recipes, but often they are just too complicated and require too much time hunting down ingredients that my little Kroger just can’t promise me it’ll have. But typically, Paula’s recipe’s are not only gooey and delicious and full or butter (or completely fried in ohl) as is a true staple in Southern cooking (or cookin’ as Paula would say), they are typically very simple to whip together.

Now, Friday nights are pretty low-key in the Monogram household, yet it is a night we all really look forward to. We usually meet up with Mr. Monogram at our favorite Mexican place, then head home for some a quick game of Hullabaloo (or the dreaded Candy Land) before putting the boys to bed by 8. But once 10pm rolls around it is all about me & Paula’s Party. It is the one night during the week I stay up late. Each week she has a theme and as it so happens, last Friday was probably my favorite theme yet- Cheese! I admit this is not the smartest show to watch late at night because it will undoubtedly make you crave something you A) don’t need and B) don’t have but nonetheless it is my Friday night indulgence.

Back to the cheese theme. So on the cheese themed show last Friday night, there was a woman who taught Paula how to make her “Caribbean Grill” Grilled Cheese. This is not your every day American Grilled Cheese. Oh no, ma’am! In fact, it’s a $10, 000 grilled cheese sandwich because that’s how much money this woman won in a contest for the best Grilled Cheese in America. Not that the judges consulted my opinion or anything, but if they had they would know that yes indeedie it is well worth $10,000 in monogram momma’s mouth watering opinion.

Caribbean Grill

For the Mango Salsa
1/2 mango, 1/4-inch diced
1/4 red onion, 1/4-inch diced
1/4 red bell pepper, 1/4-inch diced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Pinch sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the Sandwich
3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon curry powder
8 slices fresh Italian bread (I used Sourdough)
1/4 cup honey mustard
8 slices Swiss cheese, (8 ounces)

In a small bowl, mix together mango, red onion, bell pepper, lime juice, sugar, salt, and pepper using a wooden spoon. Set aside until ready for use.

In a small bowl using a rubber spatula, mix the butter and curry together. Spread 2 tablespoons of the butter mixture on 1 side of each slice of bread. Place 4 slices of bread on your work surface, buttered side down. Spread the honey mustard on the other side of the bread. Place about 2 tablespoons of the mango salsa on the bread followed by the Swiss cheese. (You may need to fold the cheese slices to fit the bread.) Place the remaining 4 bread slices on top, buttered side up.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of curry butter to a nonstick skillet on medium heat for 2 minutes. Put the sandwiches in the skillet (in batches if necessary) and cover with lid and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the underside is golden brown and the cheese has started to melt. Flip the sandwiches with a spatula and press very firmly, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Turn once more, press with a spatula, and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from pan and let cool for 3 to 5 minutes. Cut diagonally and serve with extra salsa on the side.
Note: The salsa can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.

I can truly attest to the amazing flavors of this sandwich, since we will be eating it tonight for the second time this week at Mr. M’s request mind you)! And while I am not a big fan of Swiss cheese, the flavor of the cheese completely transforms and changes so it doesn’t even end up tasting like Swiss cheese at all. But you know me, and I’ve got to add my own little tip in here, so for convenience sake, I did not make the mango salsa recipe above. Instead, I bought a fresh Mango-Peach salsa from the grocery store and used that. I was not disappointed and I don’t think you will be either! This sandwich is truly a treat.


Alyssa said...

OMG - I don't cook but I am making an exception for this one and for the love of grilled cheese. I will let you know hwo it turns out!

Melissa said...

This sounds delicious - and really unique! I'm going to have to try it - especially since you said it was good even with the store bought salsa. That sold me! Its tough to beat a good grilled cheese.

hqm said...

That looks and sounds yummy!
I am not that great in the kitchen...but, I think I can handle this one!
Thanks for sharing!

Tres Poshe Preppy said...

I too love Paula and I love this recipe! I have to make it-soon! Thanks for posting, yum...

MMM said...

I love grilled cheese! Thanks for the recipe. I love a great new twist on a favorite.

amanda said...

Have you ever eaten at The Lady and Sons in Savannah? My two girlfriends are obsessed with Paula and when we went to Savannah I was still naive to her wonderful wit and charm, but I did enjoy the Sunday buffet brunch. I had to buy a t-shirt so everyone would know--it was amazing. I even ate the collards and this southern girl doesn't do collards. Yum. I saw Paula's party while I was babysitting one night and I love her now too. She almost made me cry, she's so cute.

Kimberly said...

YUM-O!!!! :)

Farrell & Lauren said...

I cannot WAIT to try this. I swear I could live off of grilled cheese variations...- LG

Mrs. M said...

That sounds delicious! I'm making it for a picnic lunch this weekend!! YUM-O!

sle said...

Can't wait to see Paula and the Sailor's tonight. I know she will be wide open with all those men around! MM, have you read her book. I was really shocked at some of the things she revealed. But, now that I think about it, maybe I wasn't! You should read it when you get a chance.

Christy said...

Yum those sound really good! I love grilled cheese sandwiches anyway so adding some "extras" to it sounds even better.

tulipmom said...

Hubby would love this. Almost as much as I love an easy dinner. Thank you, Monogram Momma.

Monogram Momma said...

Ya'll have to tell me what you think after you try it!

Debbie said...

That looks so good but unfortunately B is allergic to Mangos, bummer!! It looks so yummy.

sisters with style said...

This sounds so yummy. I love grilled cheese sandwiches. I wonder what it would taste like with a vegan cheese considering that my youngest is allergic to dairy.

J said...

Oh yum. I'm so glad I asked what was for dinner the other day! I'm definitely trying this soon.