Something about rainy days warrants the making and consumption of grilled cheese sandwiches. I think it’s the temperature, more than anything. It’s cold outside, so soup seems like the obvious solution to quickly warm you up. However, soup, in and of itself, isn’t necessarily that filling. You need something of real substance to truly make it a lunch. That’s where the sandwich comes in. To continue to fight the chill induced by frigid precipitation, you grill it, serving it up warm and melt-y, just the way mom used to make it. This is the scene today, just without the soup (who needs it?) and with more herbs than usual (let’s not let that garden go to waste).
What are your feelings about melted cheese? The stringier, the better? Do you consider five types of cheese on one sandwich acceptable? If so, I admire your fortitude. I cannot say that I am a member of this camp. I’m very wary when it comes to melted dairy products, and I am still a fan of utilizing American cheese (you know, a “cheese product”) for most of my melted cheese needs. Once it’s melted, it stays melted; that’s what I like about it. However, brie qualifies as an actual cheese and shares some similar properties: it’s a soft cheese, it melts quickly, and it stays soft and melt-y for a long time. I vote that it be incorporated into today’s sandwich. The motion passes.
Mustard appears to be having a moment. I’ve come across numerous mustard-centric recipes as of late and have simultaneously been on a German food kick (it incorporates a lot of mustard), so some fancy mustard seems like a fitting addition to this lunch extravaganza. Done.
To top things off, we’ll add some turkey for substance (protein!), some red onions for a bit of fresh spice, and, if you’re feelin’ crazy, Granny Smith apples slices for a bit of sweetness. Why not? There you have it: nearly all of your food groups in one sandwich. One sandwich to rule them all.
Brie, Turkey, and Herb Mustard Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Makes 2 Sandwiches
Herb Mustard adapted from Bon Appetit
Herb Mustard Ingredients:
2 Tbs. stone-ground mustard (Ingelhoffer is terrific)
1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. fresh chives, chopped
1 Tbs. tarragon
2 tsp. light brown sugar
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
4 slices bread
1/4 lb. brie cheese, sliced
1/2 lb. turkey, sliced
red onion, sliced
apple, sliced (optional)
To Make the Herb Mustard:
In a small bowl, combine the chives, tarragon, and mustard. Mix with a fork. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and brown sugar. Stir until the brown sugar has completely dissolved. Set aside until ready to use.
To Make the Sandwich:
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Butter one side of each slice of bread. On the opposite side of the bread, spread 1-2 Tbs. of the herb mustard. Pile on the brie, turkey, and, if using, red onion and/or apple slices. Set the sandwich in the saucepan, and allow it to grill for 2-3 minutes, until golden-brown on one side and the brie starts to melt. Flip the sandwich over and continue to grill until the opposite side is golden brown, another 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately. Enjoy!