Saturday, April 4, 2009

Grilled Cheese Goodness #1

Here we are with my first official Grilled Cheese Month post. This may be my favorite food holiday all year, so excuse me if I go a bit overboard with the posts! This first sandwich I threw together with stuff we just had on hand in the house. It's simple and basic but oh-so-delicious! The star of this sammie is a delicious semi-soft cheese out of Quebec called Oka. Its name comes from the town in Quebec where it was originally made in 1893. It's got a very pungent aroma and is soft creamy on the tongue with a slight nutty flavor. I first tried it when I was at the Toronto Wine & Cheese Show and fell in love. It's a very versatile cheese that I can't wait to use in Mac & Cheese, on pizza and who knows who knows what else! Post any ideas in the comments.

Oka & Apricot Grilled Cheese
makes 2 sandwiches

4 slices of multi-grain bread sandwich bread
3 Tbsp of room temperature butter - for easy spreading
Oka Cheese - don't have exact measurement, enough for a nice layer on the bread
Apricot Mustard (recipe below)

1. Heat a skillet over medium low heat. Spread a generous layer of Apricot Mustard on two slices of bread. Top mustard with a layer of Oka Cheese, slices should be 1/8"-1/4" thick it melts really well so you don't need a ton, just a single layer. Top with remaining slices of bread.
2. Butter top of sandwich. Carefully place in skillet, buttered side down. Butter other side of sandwich.
3. Cover skillet and cook sandwich on low just until the butter on the skillet side is completely melted. Carefully flip and repeat on other side. Flip again and bring the burner up to medium heat. Cook until ones side becomes golden brown and toasty, flip and repeat on other side.
4. Take out of skillet, let sit for 3 minutes (this step isn't necessary and really hard to do if you are hungry! but helps in the sandwich being a little less oozy than in the picture), cut in half and serve.

Apricot Mustard

Mix 1 part Dijon mustard with 1 1/2 parts apricot jam. Mix until well combined. Taste and add more jam as needed.

This sandwich was simple and oh-so-delicious! Oka is a great cheese for grilled cheese because it melts beautifully, with no oil separation. Basically most semi-soft cheese will work well in grilled cheese, but the flavor of this cheese is just amazing and the nuttiness pairs perfectly with the sweet tang of the Apricot mustard. I used a jam that had apricot chunks in it which made it all the better.

The boy is out of town for work so you don't have the benefit of his take on this one, although I made him a plain Oka grilled cheese over the weekend, which he loved. And the Apricot Mustard is similar to the dipping sauce I made with the onions rings, which he also liked. I have a feeling I'll be making this one again for him, have to go buy some more Oka.
Every cheese monger around here carries Oka, but I'm not sure how easy it is to find in the States. Not to worry though, the Springbank Cheese Co ships Oka and many other cheeses to the U.S. Enjoy!

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