Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Cheddar & Shallot
In an attempt to liven up grilled cheese, some add so many ingredients that the cheese is an afterthought. Our grown-up grilled cheese sandwiches start with flavorful aged cheddar to which we add a small amount of wine and Brie. These two ingredients help the aged cheddar melt evenly without becoming greasy. A little bit of shallot increases the sandwiches’ complexity without detracting from the cheese, and a smear of mustard butter livens up the bread.
- 7 ounces aged cheddar cheese, cut into 24 equal pieces, room temperature
- 2 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine or vermouth
- 4 teaspoons shallot, minced
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 8 slices hearty white sandwich bread
Adapted from cooksillustrated.com
Look for a cheddar aged for about one year (avoid cheddar aged for longer; it won’t melt well). To quickly bring the cheddar to room temperature, microwave the pieces until warm, about 30 seconds. The first two sandwiches can be held in a 200°F oven on a wire rack set in a baking sheet.
Process cheddar, Brie, and wine in food processor until smooth paste is formed, 20 to 30 seconds. Add shallot and pulse to combine, 3 to 5 pulses. Combine butter and mustard in small bowl.
Working on parchment paper–lined counter, spread mustard butter evenly over 1 side of slices of bread. Flip 4 slices of bread over and spread cheese mixture evenly over slices. Top with remaining 4 slices of bread, buttered sides up.
Preheat 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. (Droplets of water should just sizzle when flicked onto pan.) Place 2 sandwiches in skillet; reduce heat to medium-low; and cook until both sides are crispy and golden brown, 6 to 9 minutes per side, moving sandwiches to ensure even browning. Remove sandwiches from skillet and let stand for 2 minutes before serving. Repeat with remaining 2 sandwiches.