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Friday, April 15, 2011

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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Would you like to comment?

  1. Oh, Wisconsin cheese! How I love thee.

  2. the first shot had me drooling...and after reading the post my taste buds developed this craving for grilled cheese! lol.
    yummy yummy yummy!!!

  3. Ah, Wisconsin! I knew almost all of those facts about the state. (of course I lived there for 5 years +3 college years. And oh how I miss it so! Grilled cheese is one of the best sandwiches to play with. Grilled cheese with cooked bacon and tomato dipped in Dijon mustard. mmmmm.... That's my fave!

  4. Now that's one book I wouldn't mind adding to my already overloaded cookbook collection. Yum! You can never have too many grilled cheese sandwiches.

  5. I've never been to Wisconsin, but if I were to go I would wrap my lips around every piece of cheese I could find. LOL!
    These sandwich sounds wonderful. I'm really lovin' on that sauce.

  6. Bleu cheese, colby and marble rye. I couldn't ask for anything more!

  7. Wow, that looks and sounds awesome, what a combo of things going in there.

  8. As someone who lives a few miles from the border and has worked on and off in WI theatres for 10 years, yep - WI is a haven for cheesemongers. Many award-winning cheeses, many cranberry bogs and some gorgeous scenery. I seek out their local cheeses and am never disappointed. The grilled cheese sandwich makes my heart smile.

  9. All of these Wisconsin tidbits of trivia that I had no idea about! Sigh. I feel like I've learned something today. Thanks Heather!

    And man does this grilled cheese sound good...maybe I'm really supposed to be living in Wisconsin...

  10. Love that Wisconsin cheese and luckily we're very close to the border. Your grilled cheese is to die for! It looks delicious and the more cheese, the better, whatever kind it is!

  11. my husband worked in a wisconsin cheese factory all through high school...his step-dad was one of the founders of sartori...needless to say--we get a bit of WI cheese sent to us. your sandwich looks like the best way to enjoy it! love the cranberry sauce/jam--now just toss a brat in there and you have a trifecta!

  12. That is a great looking sandwich! I didn't know Wisconsin has so many blues.

  13. I love wisconsin and their cheese..oh sister married a native wisconsin boy and at the wedding I met his mother and she found out I had a blog..every two months I get a okg of wisconsin cheese..oh die for!! I would love to try the chips and guac grilled cheese!! yummy review!!


  14. This grilled cheese toast I am in love with them. It is really tasty. Cheese there then nothing can go wrong.

  15. Well that looks ridiculously delicious! I actually won this cookbook on Twitter the other night. Wisconsin Cheese Board were doing a chat with the author. I answered a question and won the book :) Now I have to wait until it arrives...

  16. This was a fun book and I am tagging your Wisconsinite to try--it looks pretty awesome. You do have to make the Chips and Guacamole Grilled Cheese--it was to die for.

  17. wow this looks utterly delicious and tempting!

  18. What a testament to National Grill Cheese month! Exceptional sandwich!

  19. Frickity frack! The cheddar and chorizo sounds like a thing of artistry.

  20. looks really mouthwatering, thanks for sharing your recipe! anything with cheese, we love! btw, i am your new follower! was here for a late visit from food friday and i am wishing you a blessed week! PinayMum - Mommy's Life Around...!

  21. I love this sandwich too as well as the book. I posted about it last Saturday. I tried quite a few of the recipes and none disappointed.

    [I'd say something like "Great minds think alike" but we both probably got books from NetGalley.