By Teon Cromwell, Jr.
So it snowed today, not that that’s shocking considering it’s still winter, but I wasn’t expecting it (it’s apparently supposed to snow all week long). Being at work and seeing said snow fall, I suddenly had a craving for grilled cheese and tomato soup; and ever since I had grilled cheese on cheese bread, I’ve been trying to find a recipe so that I could make it myself.
I found an awesome recipe here, and it closely matches the one that I first had. When it comes to grilled cheese some people let the butter melt in the pan, then grill it while others butter the bread itself then grill. I’m a believer in the latter of the two. I’ve always wanted my grilled cheese to have that consistency that you see in movies, television shows or print ads. That consistency where as soon as you cut and separate the sandwich the cheese starts to ooze. It wasn’t until two years ago that I discovered the paring of Manchego and Havarti with Dill is what makes this consistency happen.
The combination of grilled cheese and tomato soup is total comfort food. I don’t know why they work so well together, but they do. While I could have made a tomato soup I opted to purchase Campbell’s® soup instead. Why? Because that’s how I’ve always done my grilled cheese and tomato soup. The only way I switched it up was by combining Campbell’s® Tomato & Sweet Basil Bisque with their Harvest Orange Tomato Soup. However, if you want to make your own soup from scratch this looks/sounds like a winning recipe here.
- 3 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded on large holes of box grater (about 1 cup)
- 3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 4-5 ounces sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk (2% milk may be substituted but don’t use skim milk)
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- Havarti with Dill
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position in the oven and preheat oven to 350° degrees F. Spray a 5 by 9-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray, then sprinkle ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese evenly in bottom of pan.
In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper to combine. Using a rubber spatula, mix in cheddar cheese cubes, breaking up clumps, until cheese is coated with flour. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, melted butter, egg, and sour cream. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined (the batter will be heavy and thick). Do not overmix. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan; spread to sides of pan and level surface with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle ½ cup of Cheddar evenly over surface.
Bake until deep golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack 5 minutes; invert loaf from pan and continue to cool until warm, about 45 minutes. Cut bread into slices, butter both sides and sandwich Manchego and Havarti with Dill in-between. Toast until cheese is melted and serve with tomato soup.
**If the toothpick comes out with what looks like uncooked batter after testing the bread for doneness, try again in a different spot since the toothpick may have hit a pocket of cheese the first time. You definitely don’t want to overbake the bread or it will be dry. According to the original recipe, the texture of the bread improves as it cools, so if you can, resist the urge to slice the bread while it is still very hot. I can attest that this leftover cheese bread makes excellent toast. Use a toaster oven or baking sheet in a 425-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes (a conventional toaster can be messy because the pockets of cheese will melt and burn).**