Make yourself a gourmet grilled cheese

Use fancy cheeses, says Sobocinski. Cheese can be intimidating, but: “When we put it in somethingnostalgic, it allows people to get more adventurous.”

The method

In order to avoid dark spots and make a bunch of sandwiches at the same time, Sobocinski uses the open-face method. Butter one side of a each bread slice. Throw half a tablespoon of butter into a hot cast iron skillet, add bread, butter side down, and cook. Press the bread lightly into the pan so that it browns evenly. “If you place your bread in a cold pan, it’ll stick,” warns Sobocinski.  “You want it GBD: golden brown and delicious.” Preheat your oven to 375-400 degrees. Grate your cheese onto both slices of bread. Pop them into the oven and bake. Take them out, assemble and let your sandwich sit for a minute before cutting. This way the molten goodness doesn’t all ooze out.

The bread

Breads with sugar, like country white or brioche, burn quickly. So Sobocinski recommends using sourdough or rye. “They’re very forgiving,” he says. He recommends cutting ¼-inch slices.

The pairing

When serving gooey grilled cheeses, Sobocinski recommends balancing the fatty, buttery taste with acidic items such as whole grain mustard and cornichons, plus wines such as St. Francis’ Chardonnay. “This way, every bite’s not as heavy,” he says.

The cheese

Shredded cheese melts more evenly and faster, says Sobocinski. He likes using a combination of different flavors and mixes a batch of the following for the sandwiches served in his award-winning restaurant Caseus Fromagerie: comte, gruyere, raclette, provolone, mozzarella, a two-year Gouda, good sharp Vermont cheddar and emmental.  For you home chefs, he suggests mixing equals parts comte (nutty flavor), cheddar (sweet sharpness) and provolone (stringy texture).

Sharp cheddar, cayenned apples and bacon on raisin bread
Paired with Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon

Yield 2 Sandwiches

6 slices applewood smoked bacon
6 oz of sharp cheddar, grated into medium/large shreds   
1 Granny Smith apple (or other tart apple) cored, peeled and cut into ¼ inch disk slices
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more if you like it spicy!)
4  – 1/2 inch slices of raisin bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degree F
Lay the bacon out onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Cook in the oven for 12-17 minutes or until nicely browned and crisp.  
Remove bacon from sheet pan onto a dish lined with paper towel and allow to drain and cool.
Butter one side of each of the slices of raisin bread equally with the 2 tablespoons of butter.
Assemble the sandwiches by placing a quarter of the shredded cheddar on the unbuttered side of one slice of bread, then 2 slices of apple, a pinch of cayenne (or more if you like) then 3 slices of crisp bacon, then more shredded cheddar, all topped off with raisin bread, butted side facing out.
In a large sauté pan cook the sandwiches on one side until golden brown, flip and finish cooking in the preheated oven until nicely melted through. Allow sandwiches to rest for 3 minutes before cutting or eating. 

Fresh chevre, caramelized pear, pickled ginger and honey on sourdough Paired with Sonoma County Chardonnay

Yield 2 sandwiches (great cut into quarters for an appetizer for 8 ppl)

3 tablespoon unsalted butter  
1 large ripe pear, skin removed, cored and cut into 16 equal slices  
1 tablespoon pickled ginger, drained and finely chopped (from Asian isle in grocery store)
2 teaspoons honey
6 oz fresh goat’s milk chevre
4 slices of sourdough bread ¼ inch thick
Sprig of fresh rosemary

In a small sauté pan add 1 tablespoon of the butter, save the remaining 2 tablespoons for later.

Heat the butter over medium heat until it starts to foam, add the pear slices, the pickled ginger and the honey.

Allow to cook for about 5-7 minutes until the pear begins to color lightly and soften.

Remove pears and any liquids into a bowl and let sit.

Equally spread the fresh goat’s milk chevre onto one side of each slice of bread. 

Assemble the sandwiches by adding 4-6 slices of the cooked pears to the goat’s milk chevre side of the bread then topping with another slice of bread cheese side down. Reserve the liquids and extra pear slices for garnish.

Using the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, equally spread onto the outsides of each sandwich.

In a large sauté pan over a medium flame toast the sandwiches to a deep golden brown on each side.

Allow sandwiches to rest for 3 minutes before cutting or eating.

Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary and any remaining honey and pickled ginger left over.

Sharp cheddar, cayenned apples and bacon on raisin bread

Paired with St. Francis Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon

Yield: Two sandwiches

6  slices applewood smoked bacon
6 oz. sharp cheddar, grated into medium/large shreds   
1 Granny Smith apple (or other tart apple) cored, peeled and cut into ¼-inch disk slices
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more if you like spice!)
4 ½-inch-thick slices of raisin bread
2  tablespoons unsalted butter

Instructions
   
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lay the bacon out on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

Cook in the oven for 12-17 minutes or until nicely browned and crisp. 

Remove bacon from sheet pan; set it on a dish lined with paper towels and allow it to drain and cool.

Butter one side of each of the slices of raisin bread equally with the 2 tablespoons of butter.

Assemble the sandwiches by placing a quarter of the shredded cheddar on the unbuttered side of one slice of bread, then two slices of apple, a pinch of cayenne (or more if you like), then three slices of crisp bacon, then more shredded cheddar, all topped off with raisin bread, buttered side facing out.

In a large saute pan, cook the sandwiches on one side until golden brown, flip and finish cooking in the preheated oven until nicely melted through. Allow sandwiches to rest for three minutes before cutting or eating. 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

The Word

The Word: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie finally…

Well, everybody, it finally happened. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie went and got themselves hitched — according to noted scandal sheet the Associated Press —…

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

NFL

Giants vs. Patriots: 3 things to watch

The Giants wrap up their extended preseason campaign Thursday night by playing host to the Patriots.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…