I swear I do my best work when I don’t have anything planned for dinner. This grilled cheese is an example of that. I had a leek that needed to be used and some mushrooms. And, of course, I had cheese. The combination sounds simple, but it really brings about a tasty grilled cheese sandwich. If you haven’t tried leeks, they come from the onion family. They have a mild onion flavor, but have this wonderful sweetness to them. The long white stem is the good part. Just chop the top end off, as well as the bottom roots and you’ve got yourself a long tube of onion-y goodness to work with. We are big lovers of leeks in this house, so much that we tried to grow them when we lived in the dessert. Gardening in the dessert is a nightmare and takes massive effort so it means we really love something to try growing it. Leeks and mushrooms are an easy combo. There’s no need to add any more seasoning than just a little salt and pepper to bring about a delicious melt.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 leek, halved and sliced
salt and pepper
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 loaf artisan bread sliced (8 slices)
6 oz Gouda, shredded*
1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add in the leeks and saute for about 5-7 minutes until softened. Add in the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and saute for another 2-3 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked through.
2. Heat a skillet or flat top grill to medium heat. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Pair them up so you have 4 sandwiches (butter on the outside). Layer with shredded cheese, a nice heaping of the mushroom/leeks, and top with more cheese.
3. Cook over medium heat, flipping once, until both sides are browned and cheese is melted through. Patience is the key to a great grilled cheese. Don’t try and bust them out by cranking up the heat. When it comes to grilled cheese, low and slow is the way to go.
*I find that working with shredded cheese on a grilled cheese is actually much easier and helps the cheese spread throughout any additional toppings, holding the sandwich together much better.
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