The Birchwood – a PERFECT Grilled Cheese Sandwich

The Wisconsin Cheese Marketing folks have got it going on, my friends. They are sharp, ahead of the curve, and sooooo good at tantalizing your tastebuds for cheese-centered dishes. I take my cheesemaker’s hat off to them. Kudos.

One of my favorite websites from them is The Grilled Cheese Academy, wherein they assault the reader with one delectable variant of the standard grilled cheese sandwich after another. And they are all to die for. I swear. The following entry felled me like a tree. It’s up for lunch tomorrow. Only because I already had dinner on the way when I found it tonight. Get on board, it’s bound to be a legend at your house.

Ingredients

No. of Servings: 4

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 7 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 1 yellow or Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 6-8 ounces mushrooms such as cremini, button, portabello or shiitake, sliced 1/8″ thick
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, chopped
  • 8 slices whole-grain bread
  • 4 slices Wisconsin Cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices Wisconsin Aged Brick cheese or aged goat cheese
  • 4 large eggs

Cooking Directions

For caramelized onions: Heat large sauté pan over high heat; add olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter; heat. Add sliced onions and sugar. Cook without stirring for 2 minutes. Stir in pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring at intervals, for another 5-8 minutes to brown onions. Add water and stir for 1 minute. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Return pan to heat and add 1 tablespoon butter and melt; add mushrooms. Add pinch of salt and pepper and cook on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes. Add chopped herbs and cook for 2 minutes. Remove to bowl.

Spread butter evenly on one side of the bread slices. Heat skillet or sauté pan over medium heat; place a bread slice, butter-side down, in skillet. Top with slice of Cheddar; add about 1 tablespoon each of mushrooms and onions, then top with slice of Aged Brick or aged goat cheese and another piece of bread, butter-side up. Grill for 2 minutes, then carefully flip over, cooking to a golden brown and melting the cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients (3 additional sandwiches). Place sandwiches on serving plates and return skillet to the heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and fry eggs sunny side up over medium heat. Season with pinch of salt and pepper and fry until whites are just set. Place an egg on top of each sandwich and serve immediately.

Now normally I don’t like orange colored cheese. I feel strongly that cheese should resemble the milk from which it is made, not Orange Fanta or Nehi. But the seductiveness of the cheddar hooked me here. See if you don’t want to just reach out and grab this sandwich off the page.

Have mercy!

Thanks to the wizards of Wisconsin cheese marketing. Vermont, I love your cheese, but y’all should take a marketing lesson from Madison!

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One thought on “The Birchwood – a PERFECT Grilled Cheese Sandwich

  1. I am literally reaching through the screen to try and get to that. The combination of mushrooms and cheese is my ultimate comfort food. Nb, have just lost the best part of an hour combing through your archives- thank you for the gorgeous distraction.

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