Saturday, May 15, 2010

Arthur Ave Grilled Cheese

Remember once upon a time when Sarah at The Gift Wrap Blog asked me to make my version of grilled cheese?  And I didn't for, what, three-and-a-half weeks because I'm crazy busy out of my mind?  Well, let me tell you: it was worth the wait.

Let me now present to you... my Arthur Ave Grilled Cheese.  I went down Arthur (which is the Little Italy of the Bronx, if you didn't know already) and got some super fresh ingredients for this combo of mozzarella, prosciutto, and basil.  I guess it's cheating a little on actual grilled cheese because it has meat in it, but trust me... it's delicious.

What you'll need:

From left to right: Prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil (washed), olive oil, and Italian bread (in the back)

How to make it:

Start off by getting two good slices of bread.  I wanted a wider loaf, but this is all I could find in a time crunch, so it's a mini-grilled cheese for me.

Then, get some slices of fresh mozzarella - enough for both sides.  Side note: this was the most amazing mozz that I've ever had in my life.  It was creamy and melted in your mouth and I ate a ton of it before I took this picture.

Wait, did I just say that?  Nahhh.

Drizzle a little olive oil on the outside of your bread.  Then, flip it over.

Add a leaf of basil on each side.

Do you know what this is?  This is prosciutto, which is a bit like Italian bacon (but you can eat it unfried).  If you're working with a small sandwich like me, only use half of this slice.

Layer it on one side of the sandwich (we only want a hint of prosciutto here... the star is the mozzarella).

Then goes a slice of cheese on each side!

If you're using a panini press like me, open-face it on the grill.  And when I say panini press, I mean George Foreman grill.  I'm not that fancy.

Just hold the top right above the cheese...

...until the cheese is a little melty.  You can't really tell here... sorry.

Then, put one side on the other and grill it for real.

And when it looks like this, it's done.

Oh boy, am I in trouble.  Look at those layers!

Okay, listen, guys.  I really don't want to toot my own horn here, but this was a freaking amazing sandwich.  I couldn't have imagined it any better!  

The mozzarella is creamy and melts in the sandwich, and the prosciutto gives a hint of smokiness.  The second time I made it, I ripped the basil into smaller pieces so that it was easier to eat, but the flavor is very light and fresh.  On top of it all, the bread is crusty, and you get a little bit of the olive oil in there, too.  Layers of flavor = delicious.

The fresh ingredients really set this grilled cheese over the top, so if you're going to make it, try as best as you can to go for the good stuff!  We don't get to splurge often as undergrad gourmets, so treat yourself.  The good thing is that the mozzarella lasts for a long time (and I have another recipe with mozzarella coming soon!) so your dollar goes far.  As for the prosciutto... once you taste it, you'll see that it was worth every penny.

And, if you don't have a small grill/press, it's really easy to make it on the stove.  Just use a non-stick pan, lay the sandwich open on the pan, and put a small pot cover on it.  This will trap the heat and melt the cheese.  Then, put the two sides together and put the cover back on in order to press the sandwich down a little.  Be sure to flip carefully!

All in all, thank you, Sarah, for giving me this food challenge!  You gave me the inspiration to actually make my own sandwich for once... and I'm happy that it was successful!

Have you ever made a sandwich experiment?  Or, alternatively, what's your favorite grilled cheese sandwich?

1 comment:

  1. My boyfriend would absolutely love this grilled cheese. He LOVES mozzarella (his favorite place to get it is Casa Della Mozzarella on 187th) AND prosciutto. I have a panini press just like the one you used so I'll have to steal your idea and make this for him sometime!