Sunday, November 6, 2011

Our Daily Bread (Gruyere and Green Apple Grilled Cheese)

Hello, ladies and gents!

We woke up this morning and I suspect our heat may not be working. Maybe it's that it was icy cold and I had to keep nursing a fire all day, maybe its the silent, unmoving HVAC, but something is rotten in Denmark. Or at least our furnace/heater-type thingy. Technical term.

Either way, it was a day that seemed to call out, in particular, to hot food. After Aaron surprised me with pumpkin waffles for breakfast and, after we completed a run to gather additional firewood, I was ready to make something good.


Green apple and Gruyere grilled cheese with horseradish and Dijon mustard takes childhood memory, everyday fare and elevates it to another level. This is my attempt to recreate an offering from a (regrettably closed) little restaurant in New York City called Savoy. I discovered Savoy on what I considered my first "real" business trip, which involved a visit to the Stern School of Business.

Well, I had a daily allowance for meals, so I figured that as it was my real adult business trip, I'd have a real adult lunch and went on the prowl for something unique. I had recently discovered tapas back at home in Worcester and Savoy offered what I essentially perceived as "French tapas." It was also within 10 minutes walk of the school.

A match made in heaven
There was something to do with stuffed, deep fried squash blossoms. There was a fig and fennel bulb salad that was to die for. There was a wine flight that seemed perfect within the moment but the names of which disappeared into the ephemera as they so often do with good wine. What really was the star, though, was the green apple, Gruyere, and horseradish panini. Picture your favorite grilled cheese as a kid (or as an adult, A and I love them) and make it... snazzy.

Suit up
The apple adds sweetness and tang echoed and amplified by mustard and horseradish, which then contrasts with the sultry creaminess of the cheeses, all enrobed in crunchy, buttery bread. Simplicity and perfection in one. Especially as we Fall Back, I think it's a must try.

Rich, melty goodness
Gruyere, green apple grilled cheese

4 1/4-inch thick slices cut from a crusty loaf of whole wheat bread
2 tbs Dijon mustard
2 tbs prepared horseradish (check the seafood section)
2 slices Provolone cheese
2 oz Gruyere cheese (cut in two long, thin slices)
1 tart green apple, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
2 tbs butter, at room temperature
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Preheat a skillet or griddle pan to medium while you slice your bread and open each pair of slices to prepare as a sandwich. Slather one side of each pair with a tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Slather the other of each with a tablespoon of prepared horseradish.

These slices are actually a bit too thick, learn from my mistakes
Place a slice of Provolone cheese over the horseradish slice of bread for each sandwich, then top with a slice of Gruyere and several thin slices of green apple, fanned out across the cheese.

Like a monkey ready to be shot into space
Aiming the mustard side down, place it on top of the apples to seal your sandwiches. Evenly butter the outside slices of your bread and toast on the hot pan, about 3 or 4 minutes per side. I like them deep golden brown and extra crispy, which ensures lots of oozing cheese on the inside.

Sizzling away
Slice in half diagonally and voila, lunch is served.

Set the table


Unknown said...

The last photo is particularly stunning.

J said...

Thank you so much! That end of our kitchen shelters a snake grass, a white bird of paradise and a mass cane. It also currently overwinters two Meyer lemon trees and a dwarf pomegranate, so there's lots of green foliage.