Will events currently engulfing the state of Wisconsin bring fame to The Wisconsinite, one of the regional treats featured in Grilled Cheese Please (Andrews McMeel Publishing, March 2011) by Laura Werlin?
We'll see in history books 20 years from now.
Having preached the gospel of American cheese for the past decade, Laura Werlin turns her attention with this little red book of grilled cheese to 50 ways this sandwich can pop up.
As a teaser to a planned interview with Laura, here's The Wisconsinite recipe.
Wisconsin isn’t called the Dairy State for nothing. It is the largest cheese-producing state in the nation, the place where Colby cheese was invented, and it boasts 46 different blue cheeses alone. In addition to cheese, Wisconsin produces cranberries, which is the number-one fruit crop there. Furthermore, the state is also home to the Mustard Museum, in Middleton. I decided to take these disparate elements and put them together between two slices of dark bread (another often used food item in Wisconsin). I love the sweet, tangy, and earthy combination of flavors that results.
¼ cup cranberry sauce
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard (or use a Wisconsin mustard if you can)
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
8 sandwich-size slices dark rye or marble bread
8 ounces Colby cheese (or use Colby-Jack or cheddar)
2 ounces blue cheese (such as Hook’s Cheese Company Hook’s Blue or Seymour Dairy Products Ader Käse), coarsely crumbled (or use any creamy yet slightly crumbly blue cheese)
In a small bowl, mix the cranberry sauce and mustard together.
To assemble: Spread the butter on one side of each slice of bread. Place 4 slices of bread, buttered side down, on your work surface. Spread the cranberry mixture on the bread. Distribute the colby, and crumble the blue cheese over the colby. Top with the remaining bread slices, buttered side up.
For stovetop method: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Put the sandwiches into the pan, cover, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the undersides have darkened and become crisp. Turn the sandwiches, pressing each one firmly with a spatula to flatten slightly. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the undersides are crisp. Remove the cover, turn the sandwiches once more, and press firmly with the spatula once again. Cook for 1 minute, or until the cheese has melted completely. (You might have to peek inside to make sure.)
Remove from the pan and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut in half and serve.
For sandwich maker method: Preheat the sandwich maker. Follow directions for assembly above. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Makes 4 sandwiches
Cheese Lovers of the World Unite!
(* Recipe and Photo from Grilled Cheese, Please! 50 Scrumptiously Cheesy Recipes by Laura Werlin/Andrews McMeel Publishing, shared by permission of the publisher)