There’s little in life more comforting than a grilled cheese sandwich. We can appreciate the simplicity of a nice classic grilled cheese, served alongside a steaming hot bowl of tomato soup, as much as anyone. But, we also love to kick things up a notch and play around with new flavor combinations.
Something magical happens when you combine the earthy flavors of truffle butter and a simple mushroom duxelle with the creamy nuttiness of melted Fontina. I swear there was singing. And sunshine. And … well, you get the point. This is the sort of sandwich that’s right up our aisle. A little bit fancy, but not too fussy. And best of all, it isdelicious.
Serve these mini grilled cheese sandwiches to friends at your next cocktail party. Or make them for yourself and take the time to relish one of life’s little indulgences.
Truffle Grilled Cheese with Fontina and Mushroom Duxelles
By Lori & Paul
Makes 8 mini sandwiches
4 tablespoons truffle butter (recipe below)
16 slices French bread
1/2 cup mushroom duxelles (recipe below)
8 ounces (2 cups) Fontina Cheese, shredded
Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Spread truffle butter on one side of all 16 slices of bread. On eight of the slices, spread the unbuttered side with approximately 1 tablespoon of the duxelles. Place four of bread slices containing the duxelles butter-side down on the heated skillet. Top each slice with about 1/4 cup of the shredded Fontina and top with a slice of French bread, butter-side up.
Cook until bottom bread is golden brown and cheese starts to melt. Carefully turn sandwiches over and continue to cook until the second side is golden brown and the cheese is completely melted. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.
Makes approximately 2 ½ cups
1 pound mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/4 cup dry sherry
Place mushrooms into a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Set aside. Heat butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When butter is melted, add shallots and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté briefly, just until the garlic is fragrant and beginning to soften. Increase heat to medium-high and add the chopped mushrooms and thyme, stirring to combine. Allow the mushrooms to cook, undisturbed for 5-7 minutes, or until they have released their liquid and begin to brown. Give them another good stir and continue cooking until they are browned and fairly dry, reducing the heat as needed if mushrooms begin to stick. Add sherry and cook, stirring, until all the moisture has evaporated. Allow to cool.
Leftover duxelles is delicious tucked into an omelet, spread on crostini, added to mashed potatoes, or used as a topping or stuffing for grilled fish or roasted meats.
1 pound sweet cream butter
1 small black truffle*
Start with room temperature butter and a medium sized mixing bowl. Place the butter in the bowl and grate the truffle over the top. Grab your favorite rubber spatula and cream butter and truffles together until thoroughly combined.
Divide truffle butter into four portions, and wrap first in waxed paper, then in plastic wrap. Place your portioned butter into a freezer safe resealable plastic bag, and store in the freezer where it should last for at least six months.
*Truffle salt may also be used to deliver truffle flavor. Add 1 teaspoon at a time to unsalted butter. Adjust to taste.
Fontina, grilled cheese, mushroom, truffle butter
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