As I mentioned in my previous post, The Grilled Cheese Invitational was May 24th and I, along with several hundred other Southern Californians decided to enter what I consider the best cooking competition ever created – a grilled cheese cookoff. Since I talked about the event in my last post, today I’m going to tell you what I made.
There were 3 categories you could take part in: The Missionary, The Kama Sutra, and The Honey Pot.
The Missionary was your basic grilled cheese. It could be any kind of bread and any kind of cheese, but that was it. No bacon, no tomato, no extras. That’s what the Kama Sutra was for.
The Kama Sutra was the exotic grilled cheese which pretty much meant you could do whatever you wanted. As long as the contents were 60% cheese, you could put anything else, including the kitchen sink in that sandwich. And believe me, people did. There was one guy – a 10 year-old – who won a judge’s award for his Kama Sutra masterpiece. It included Tillamook Cheese, queso fresco, grilled portobello mushrooms, sauteed onions, tomato, ground spicy cheetos, and sauteed chorizo. Sounds disgusting, I know. But several people, including at least one judge, raved about his concoction.
Then there was the Honey Pot. Again as long as the contents were 60% cheese, anything else could be included. But unlike the Kama Sutra, this sandwich had to be sweet – like a dessert. I decided this was the heat for me since I love baking sweet things.
You wouldn’t believe some of the creations: a team called the Suzie Homemakers won two awards for their Gimme S’more which included sweet brown bread, marscapone cheese, chocolate, and marshmallow fluff.
The team next to me created something called the Cardiologist’s Dream. It was made up of cheddar cheese and bacon sandwiched in the middle of a glazed doughnut. Then they drizzled maple syrup over it and garnished with a slice of apple “to keep the doctor away”.
Then there was my creation which I dubbed American as Apple Pie because one of my favorite combinations is apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese. But I didn’t think cheddar was the way to go for the Invitational. I thought a better cheese to use would be brie. And I’ve had it with sliced apples before so I knew the two would go together perfectly. Since I only had 50 minutes to make 20 samples of my sandwich for the competition, I made the apple pie filling ahead of time. Then at the competition itself, I placed a few slices of brie on a slice of french bread, covered it with my pre-made apple pie filling, topped it off with another slice of bread and fried the whole thing in butter ’til golden brown and the cheese oozing out the sides. Then as a finishing touch, I drizzled a little sauce over it I’d made out of burbon and apple cider. Yummy!
So the next time you’re in the mood for grilled cheese but are looking for something a little more exotic, give this a try. It’s yummy and different and will absolutely satisfy that salty/sweet craving so many of us have from time to time.
American as Apple Pie Grilled Cheese
Apple Pie Filling
- 3 apples sliced (I used a Pink Lady, but whatever your apple of choice is, is fine)
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup of flour
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 Tbsp bourbon
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- 2 slices of French bread
- 3 slices of brie cheese
- 1 Tbsp butter
- Apple Pie Filling
Apple Cider Bourbon Sauce
- 5 cups apple cider
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp bourbon
Apple Pie Filling:
In a medium bowl mix the sliced apples with the flour and sugar until coated. Pour the apple mixture into a medium sauce pan cook over a low heat. Stir in the cinnamon and bourbon. The flour and sugar combined with the juice from the apples will start to thicken. Continue to cook on low for 15 – 20 minutes until sauce is thick and apple slices are tender. Place aside and let cool.
For Apple Cider Bourbon sauce:
Boil apple cider in heavy medium saucepan until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 45 minutes. Add butter and sugar and whisk until butter melts. Boil 3 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat. Whisk in bourbon. Let the sauce cool.
For the Sandwich:
Place your cheese on one slice of French bread. Cover the cheese with 2 -3 spoonfuls of the apple pie filling. Place the second piece of bread on top. Melt the butter in an 8 inch fry pan. Place the sandwich in the melted butter and cook over medium heat until goldenbrown, about 2 minutes per side. Place the sandwich on a plate, drizzle the Apple Cider Bourbon sauce over and enjoy.