Down to Earth

This is the final day of April, and the final day of Grilled Cheese Month 2015. We had some favorites, like the port wine grilled cheese, some surprises, like the grilled cheese salad, and some fun, like Elvis' dream grilled cheese.

This last grilled cheese brings us back down to earth, so to speak, with a mushroom blend sandwich, fun ingredients to work with and a good combination of flavors.

A Vegetarian & Cooking! original grilled cheese.

-0.25 ounce dried mushroom mix (including e.g. shiitake, wood ear, cloud ear, oyster, and button)
-1 ounce chopped pecans
-2 ounces aged swiss cheese
-2 slices rosemary bread

Soak the dried mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes to rehydrate. Remove the mushrooms to a cutting board. They look fragile when dry, but can be rather unwieldy when rehydrated. Cut them into more manageable 1/4 inch slivers. The package recommends saving the soaking liquid for stock, i boiled mine and had mushroom tea. Not an every day drink, mind you, but uniquely flavorful and very good.

Cook the mushrooms in 1/2 tablespoon of butter for 2 or 3 minutes, then add the pecans to toast for another minute.

Layer the mushrooms and pecans between slices of cheese, so that the melted cheese can help hold the sandwich together, then grill in a frying pan on medium heat with 1/2 tablespoon of butter.

This was a pretty interesting sandwich, give it a try. Dried mushroom blends can be gotten for fairly cheap at the grocery store, and we have some left over for stir-fry or whatever we want. The sandwich itself was crispy on the outside, with a meld of earthy, nutty, and tangy flavors on the inside. The slight chew of the mushrooms and crunch of the pecans created deeper textural elements.


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