Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mushroom-Swiss Grilled Cheese

Went on a mushroom kick last weekend.  There's something fun and exciting to me about spending the day in the kitchen with the windows open letting in the much awaited warmer weather.  So that's how I spent my Saturday, while trying out recipes to get through the pounds of mushrooms that I had at home.

I made loads of different things, but this might just be one of my favorites...and I didn't even make it when I was doing all the mushroom cooking.  It was the next day.  I was looking for something quick and easy to do for lunch the day after and still had just a few baby Portobello mushrooms leftover so I figured I would go with that.  Throw in some leftover cheeses, Venison breakfast sausage I had already browned the morning, slices of whole-wheat baguette and you've got yourself the makings of a nice little grilled cheese sandwich.


Did I say butter?  To me the butter on the grilled cheese has always been the forgotten part.  But why?   Can't we find a way to make the butter more than just a means to toast bread and melt cheese, can we make the butter another flavor compontent?  Well of course we can, little bit of minced rosemary and roasted garlic cloves and we have ourselves and Rosemary-Garlic Compound Butter.
Now with that idea, it was time to grill them up.


The Venison breakfast sausage is optional, I did half with and half without when I made these for lunch.  If your going to use it I would suggest using a different bread than a baguette so you have more surface area.  With the baguette slices,  everything gets piled so high, that I had a hard time keeping the sausage on it before I grilled it. 
Of course I missed posting this on National Grilled Cheese Day, which was yesterday (April 12).  However at least I was still ahead of the game on making it a week in advance.  Here's to next time actually being on time and meeting my own deadlines.

Mushroom-Swiss Grilled Cheese
Makes: 4 sandwiches
Whole-wheat baguette, cut on the bias into 1/2 inch thick slices
4 slices Swiss cheese, cut in half
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 package baby Portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
8 oz. Venison breakfast sausage, cooked and crumbled (optional)
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 oz. butter, softened
6 cloves roasted garlic
1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed and minced
****Most of the amounts given are a guesstimation, make them with the amounts you prefer.  If your more of a cheese fan and just want a hint of mushroom lower the amount of mushroom you use and vise versa if your more of a mushroom fan.  

1.  Start with making your compound butter.   Using a small bowl mix together the softened butter, roasted garlic, minced rosemary and a pinch of salt until fully combined.  (My roasted garlic just blended right in, but you might want to mince it down a little if you want to make it easier to incorporate.)  Set aside until ready to use.
2.  Using a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add in mushrooms and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.
3.  Assemble:  Butter one side of 8 baguette slices, set 4 to the side and using the remaining 4 place buttered side down.  Top these slices with 1/2 slice of Swiss cheese and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.  Top with sautéed mushrooms, minced thyme, and then the sausage (optional).  Top with the remaining Parmesan cheese and the last of the Swiss cheese.  Top with the 4 remaining bread slices, buttered side up.
4.  Using a large nonstick skillet or griddle, heat over medium heat.  When ready, place your sandwich in pan.  Cook until brown, about 1-2 minutes and then flip carefully to brown the other side.   While cooking, using your spatula apply some pressure on the sandwich squashing it just slightly to make sure the top layer and bottom layer of cheese bond together when melting.  Cooking until brown and cheese is melted, 1-2 minutes then remove from heat.