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The Wisconsinite Grilled Cheese (+ a cookbook review: grilled cheese, please! by Laura Werlin)

Were you aware that Colby cheese was invented in Wisconsin?  Or that Wisconsin lays claim to 46 different blue cheeses?  How 'bout the fact that cranberries are Wisconsin's numero uno fruit crop?  Or that the Mustard Museum makes its home in Wisconsin?  Did you know that for a very short time period I made my home in Wisconsin?  All of those facts, aside from the last, were laid out in the intro to this utterly addicting grilled cheese sandwich in grilled cheese, please! by Laura WerlinHence the name of the know, for those of you who hadn't caught on yet.  Even though I felt like I lived there longer than I actually did, Wisconsin and alot of its people will always hold a special place in my heart.  I think it feels like I lived there for longer than I actually did (less than a year) because I visited so often.  One of my best friends in college was a Wisconsinite, born and bred, and I'd make the road-trip from East Lansing to Milwaukee many times before I actually moved there for a bit.  Man, those were good times.  When I remember Milwaukee I remember music (and other things that matched really well with music.  Especially when you're a college student.).  Home, concerts, bars, friends, work, the band in the basement, a drummer, camping, Summer Fest, road trips, was just a part of the air we breathed.  And my send-off was epic (at least in my mind)...two kegs of Leinie's, an integral part of daily life in Milwaukee.  They got one keg of Berry Weiss just because it was my favorite back then.  Jeff, Steph, Kel, John, Andy, Matt, Chris, Shel, Dan, Tony, Bryan, Marna, Ben, Eric (and anybody else my sometimes forgetful mind might have missed) this one's for you!  Thanks for making me an honorary Wisconsinite.
The Wisconsinite
makes 4 sandwiches

¼ c. cranberry sauce
4 tsp. Dijon mustard (use a Wisconsin mustard if you can)
2 Tbs. butter, room temp.
8 sandwich sized sliced dark rye or marble rye
8 oz. Colby cheese, shredded
2 oz. blue cheese

In a small bowl, mix cranberry sauce and mustard together. fyi...this sauce rocks...make extra, you'll want to dip!

to assemble:  Spread the butter on one side of each slice of bread.  Place 4 slices of bread, buttered side down, on your work surface.  Spread the cranberry mixture on the bread.  Distribute the colby, and crumble the blue cheese over the colby.  Top with remaining slices of bread, buttered side up.

stovetop method:  Heat a large nonstick skillet I used cast-iron over medium heat for 2 minutes.  Put the sandwiches into the pan, cover, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until undersides have darkened and become crisp.  Turn the sandwiches, pressing each one firmly with a spatula to flatten slightly.  Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes, until undersides are crisp.  Remove the cover, turn the sandwiches once more, and press firmly with spatula once again.  Cook for 1 minute, or until the cheese has melted completely. (You might have to peek inside to make sure.)  Remove from the pan and let cool for 5 minutes.  Cut in half and serve.

Alternately, you could make this in a sandwich maker.
Drink with a Leinie's for a true Wisconsinite experience!
So, you may have heard me mention once or twice that I'm a total cheeseslut and mustn't go long without having a bit.  And what other quality goes better with cheeseslut than breadwhore?  Not many.  Since I'm fortunate enough to house both of those qualities deep in my being, I'm pretty sure that Laura Werlin wrote grilled cheese, please! with me specifically in mind.  It's possible, don't you think?  That while she was penning chapters with names like Just Cheese, Meat and Cheese, Anything Goes, Veggies and Cheese, Global Grilled Cheese, Grilled Cheese on the Go, Regional American Grilled Cheese, and Old Favorites and Modern Sides it was completely possible that she had my picture taped to the corner of her notebook (or computer monitor or clipboard...whatever the case may be).  But in all seriousness, don't let the compact appearance of this cookbook fool you, it is brimming with every type of grilled cheese sandwich you could imagine from Sweet-Tart Cheddar and Chorizo to the Chips and Guacamole Grilled Cheese to the Creamy, Cheesy, and Smoky Croissant (which I also was awesome) to ones you could never imagine like Erika's PB & Cheese (which has bologna, peanut butter, pickles and cheese all in one) and so, so many in between.  Werlin is an authority on cheesy things and I hope she wouldn't mind me ranking her high on the list of influential cheesesluts (because I do).  After testing so many varieties (this is actually her second book on grilled cheese), she shares the best techniques for making them in the beginning, such as when to grate the cheese, what type of bread to choose and what "fat" to use, sandwich makers, types of pans, and cooking methods.  So, if  you are a lover of warm, toasty bread filled with melty, delicious cheese...and other fillings...this is a can't-miss book for you. Check it out!

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher to review, should I choose.  All opinions stated in this post are 100% mine.

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