It's Labor Day! For many, it is the last day of summer. Time to put the grill away. We officially have another nineteen days of summer. This is not something my mother taught me! No, she would not don a pair of white shoes after Labor Day. In fact, as well as my memory serves me, she pulled out our "transitional" wardrobes that day. I don't even have a "transitional" wardrobe! You might see me at the supermarket in white sneakers shopping for Thanksgiving dinner.
Here's a recipe that can also be "grilled" year around. The Baker asked if I'd like a grown-up grilled cheese sandwich for supper after a busy day. Of course! He found his inspiration in Cook's Illustrated and pared it down for us.
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches inspired by a recipe from Cook's Illustrated
4 ounces aged (not over five years) sharp cheddar cut into fairly small chunks and at room temperature.
1 ounce ripe Brie with rind removed
1 Tbsp dry white wine
2 tsp finely minced shallot
3 Tbsp fig jam, warmed
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
4 slices good rye bread (or your choice)
1. Process the cheddar, Brie and wine in food processor to a smooth paste, about 30 seconds. Add the shallot and scrape down the sides of the bowl, pulse several times to combine.
2. Combine the butter and the mustard and spread evenly over one side of each slice of bread. Spread the cheese mixture on the unbuttered side of two of the slices and carefully spoon the melted fig jam on top of the cheese mixture. Top with the other two slices, buttered side up. You end up with the mustard buttered sides out.
3. Preheat a large, nonstick skillet. Place the sandwiches in the skillet and cook over medium-low heat until both sides are crispy and golden brown. Remove and let stand a couple minutes before slicing and enjoying.
4. NOTE: Mother would have never served grilled cheese without tomato soup!