After participating in Girl Carnivore’s #BurgerMonth blogger event, I had quite a nice collection of cheeses left to play with. And on the last day of the Grilled Cheese Academy contest put on by Wisconsin Cheese, I decided last minute that I was going to enter! Why not? Right? So I dove right in and really went for it! And “The Primal Splurge” came to life!
We had a little “prime” rib left from a small roast that we had just cooked, and that was the perfect start! It wasn’t actually prime, though, it was “choice”, but at only $4.99 a pound, it just couldn’t be passed up!!
I used my regular recipe for Restaurant-Style Prime Rib, and we were pleasantly surprised at how tender it turned out!! And the last of it worked perfectly for an epic grilled cheese sandwich!
I started by making a boysenberry-bacon-onion jam that was absolutely bowl-licking AMAZING! You’ll be a little surprised at some of the ingredients, but trust me, they all work extremely well together!
I did a partial repeat of what I did for my burger, simply because the combination of the asparagus, sweet red pepper and pear rings just can’t be beat!
I still had a little pastrami, and since this part was going to be in the middle, I decided to pile it onto a baking sheet, top it with cheese, and give it a quick trip under the broiler to melt. Let’s face it, there was going to be no way that it would’ve had a chance to melt being in the center. This actually worked very well!!
The bread of choice was the ONE single loaf of challah the entire store had, hidden between loaves of rye!!
This grilled cheese was loaded from top, middle, to bottom with creamy havarti, white cheddar horseradish cheese, blue cheese, and fontina! And I even added a small handful of fresh baby spinach leaves!
*Since this grilled cheese had quickly turned into another monstrous “Kelly creation”, I knew that trying to flip it was not going to be a very wise decision. So I simply ran it under the broiler to melt the top.
From there, it went straight to a hot griddle with melted butter to toast the bread on the bottom, and melt the bottom layer of cheeses!
I then simply placed the top piece of bread onto the griddle with more butter, grilled it until nice and golden browned, loaded the top with my boysenberry-bacon-onion jam, and placed the toasted bread on top!
I gave it a nice drizzling of sage honey-sriracha sauce, sliced it in half with no trouble, and the hubs and I were right back in 7th heaven! Grilled cheese nirvana!!
I had so much fun creating this!!! And boy did it ever have the WOW factor in taste! I doubt that I’ll make the finals, as I’ve seen that a lot of chefs, culinary students and grads are entering…and I’m just little me. But I had fun, the grilled cheese was pheNOMenal, and that’s all that matters to us! 😀
Give it a try sometime when you feel a little adventurous! It really was DELICIOUS!!!! Enjoy!
Yield: 1 epic grilled cheese sandwich
"The Primal Splurge" Grilled Cheese
1 Tbl. real sage honey, (I used Sue Bee's)
1/4 tsp. sriracha sauce
For Boysenberry Bacon Onion Jam:
1 Tbl. butter
1/4 of a small red onion, sliced
tiny pinch garlic salt (light on the garlic heavy on the salt ratio*, to taste)
1/2 Tbl. boysenberry jam or spreadable fruit
1 thick strip crisp-cooked lean bacon, coarse chopped or torn
1/2 tsp. sweet aged balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. coarse ground black pepper or fresh cracked
For Beer Batter, Vegs & Pears:
1 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup beer (of choice)
3 asparagus spears, snapped where they want to break naturally
2 - 3 sweet red pepper rings, depending on size of pepper, use sweet red cubanelle or bell
2 slices fresh pears, cut crossways onto rings, (remove centers with metal icing decorator tip)
(peppers and pears were sliced 1/3" thick, but slice as you like)
Rest of Ingredients:
2 thick slices (about 1" thick) challah bread and about 3 Tbl. butter to fry
1 small handful fresh baby spinach leaves, as desired (I love it, the hubs not so much)
3 - 6 oz. fairly thinly sliced prime rib cooked rare/medium rare, (as much as you like), lightly warmed
1 1/2 oz. very thinly sliced deli pastrami, (about 6 small slices)
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
thin slices creamy havarti cheese, 1 oz.
thin slices fontina cheese, 2 oz.
finely shaved white cheddar horseradish cheese (I used Cabot's), 1/4 cup lightly packed
For Drizzle: Stir ingredients together in small bowl, cover and set aside.
For Boysenberry Bacon Onion Jam: In small sauté pan, melt butter, add onion and a tiny pinch of garlic salt. Sauté over medium-low heat until onions are soft. Stir in rest of ingredients, sauté one more minute. Remove from heat. Leave be or transfer to a small bowl if you need the stovetop space.
For Beer Batter, Vegs & Pears:
In deep frying pan (at least 3" deep), add 1 1/2" canola oil and get heating to hot, but not smoking, over medium-high heat.
In bread pan, add dry beer batter ingredients. Whisk to mix. Whisk in beer. When oil is hot, dip peppers, asparagus, and pear rings into batter, coating well, adding a few at a time to the hot oil and fry, turning now and then until light golden. Transfer to a brown paper lunch sack-lined cooling rack placed over a baking sheet. Repeat until all are fried. Set aside.
Gettin' there: On a small half-sheet baking pan on a piece of foil, pile pastrami. Top with slices of havarti, and do a quick trip under the broiler just to melt the cheese. This part is about in the middle, and would have no way of melting without a bit of help. Remove with a spatula when assembling this monster.
To Finish: On small half-size baking sheet or similar, place 1 slice challah bread. Top with half of fontina (1 oz.), and half of thinly shaved white cheddar horseradish cheese (1/8 cup). Top with a few baby spinach leaves and crisp asparagus beer-battered "fries". Top with slices of warm prime rib, blue cheese crumbles, and sweet red pepper rings. Place pastrami with melted havarti on top. Top with pear rings and boysenberry bacon onion jam. Top with rest of horseradish white cheddar and fontina. Place under broiler to just melt top cheeses. Remove from oven.
Get a flat griddle pan heated over medium-high heat. Melt half of butter, and with a spatula place your sandwich onto pan carefully. "Fry" / cook until golden browned on bottom. Remove to a warmed plate. Add rest of butter to pan and brown other piece of bread on one side. Place on top of sandwich, grilled side out, and press on lightly.
Drizzle with honey mixture, and serve sliced or unsliced.