EMBRACE THE GOOEY, GLUTTONOUS GOODNESS OF ADULT GRILLED CHEESE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, ELEVATED WITH FINERIES LIKE WALNUTS, HONEY, AND RED WINE-SOAKED RAISINS
BY CHEF DAVID BURKE
I have two primary criteria for serving food during holiday gatherings, and you don’t have to be a chef to understand them: it should make the whole house smell good, and it should be full of flavors that everybody loves. Grilled cheese is one of the ultimate winter comfort foods, and by adding a few other ingredients, you can make it special enough to even serve at a party. It’s also an excellent impromptu dish to serve unexpected company. And if it’s cold outside, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the cheese filling. That should warm everybody up.
This is the kind of no-recipe recipe that you can continue to build upon. To add another level of flavor add truffle oil to the cream cheese and truffle butter to spread on the slices of bread. Or use mozzarella cheese and lobster for a fancy holiday event.
Garnishes can help elevate your grilled cheese, too, such as smoked salmon and caviar. Play around, have fun, be creative. Your guests will be happy you did.
8 oz crumbled blue cheese
1 tbsp honey
½ cup rough-chopped walnuts
½ cup raisins (chef tip: plump the raisins in
rum or red wine beforehand)
Pinch of salt and pepper
8 slices white or wheat bread
Apple slices (for garnish)
Mix the blue cheese, honey, rough-chopped walnuts, and raisins plus a little salt and pepper into a thick paste. Butter one side of the eight slices of white or wheat bread and pepper the buttered side. To make each sandwich, place one slice buttered-side down and spread evenly with cheese. Top with another slice, buttered-side up. Place 1 tbsp butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Cook sandwich evenly on both sides. Remove from heat and cut into quarters. Garnish with apple slices.