By Leidra Horton
Did you know that April is National Grilled Cheese Month? Well, turns out it is. To help me to prepare for this month of deliciousness, I recently asked our Corporate Chef, Matt Schuler, to help me formulate the ULTIMATE grown up grilled cheese recipe.
I wanted the recipe to mimic the ooey, gooey consistency of gourmet cheese fondue, but I wanted to include the rich flavor of beer [what's better than cheese AND beer?]. Oh, and the bread had to be plentiful [and fresh baked], of course.
The sandwich that resulted from this epic trifecta is seriously mind-blowingly awesome – and it met all of my requirements - cheese, cheese, and more cheese, alcohol, and bread. Try it for yourself!
Click on the recipe cards below for full size cards.
Grilled Beer-Cheese Sandwich
- Start by opening the beer and bringing it to room temperature. It is desirable to get most of the gas out of the beer, but don't let it get stale.
- While that is getting nice and warm, grate the cheese and the garlic in a food processor.
- Once the beer is warm and your cheese and garlic are grated, switch to the mixing blade on your food processor and add the remaining ingredients, mixing until thoroughly blended.
- Refrigerate this mixture overnight to help the flavors develop properly.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; add honey and stir.
- In a separate bowl, mix wheat flour, salt, and all purpose flour. Stir in oil and slowly add flat beer. Once mixed, add to yeast and honey mixture and mix some more.
- Once all of the ingredients are combined, place the dough on a floured surface and knead for at least 10-15 minutes. The dough may need a little more flour added to it if while kneading it's sticking to your hands. The finished dough will feel smooth and spongy and will not stick to your hands.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap until it doubles in size. Do not place dough in a draft or an over-heated area. The dough should be left to rise at room temperature.
- When dough has doubled, punch in the middle and let rest for 5 minutes. Divide into four equal parts and place in lightly oiled loaf pans.
- Score the dough twice on top of each loaf with a knife. Scores should be 2" apart and about 2 1/2" long.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap until the loaves have doubled in size.
- Once the dough has risen, remove the plastic wrap and place the loaves into your preheated oven for about 30 minutes.
Grilled Beer-Cheese Sandwich
- Beer-cheese spread (from above)
- Fresh baked bread (from above), sliced
- After a night of flavor development, your cheese spread should be ready to go. Take 2 slices of your fresh baked bread, and generously butter one side of each slice.
- Place one slice of bread butter-side-down in a warm skillet, top with a generous helping of your beer-cheese spread, and finally add the other slice of bread (butter-side-up).
- Grill until lightly browned and flip over.
- Continue grilling until browned.