Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Cheddar, Dijon Mustard & Sauteed Balsamic Mushrooms

While I have had mixed experiences with their large cousins the Portobellos, I think those ordinary, decidedly-far-less-gourmet little white mushrooms are wonderful things. Maybe it's because they are so delicious, or because I know they're so healthy. Or maybe because they are already cleaned and sliced when you buy them. That might be the one.
Oozy deliciousness!
This is basically your traditional grilled cheese sandwich, with the addition of balsamic-marinated and sauteed mushrooms. Yum, right? This recipe makes one sandwich, and would make a great weekend lunch, though you probably don't need the recipe at all after the mushroom bit. Still, in the interest of consistency...

4 oz mushrooms (1/2 box), cleaned and sliced
Deli roll or 2 slices multi grain bread
A few thin slices of mild cheddar or Swiss cheese
Balsamic vinegar 
1 clove garlic, smashed
Cooking spray
Dijon mustard
Salt & pepper
Olive oil

1. In a small-medium frying pan, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat, adding garlic and mushrooms. Saute for a couple of minutes, then add salt and pepper, and continue to saute until mushrooms are tender and nicely browned. This should take about 8-10 minutes, or more if you want yours extra browned.
2. Add about 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, immediately remove from heat, and mix to coat mushrooms. Heat a grill pan (over medium heat), sandwich press or George Foreman Grill, spraying with cooking spray.
3. Thinly butter your bread or rolls on the "outside" surfaces, and put a thin layer of dijon mustard on the "inside." Spoon mushroom mixture onto bread/roll (omitting the garlic), stack layers of cheese on top and top with other piece of bread or top of roll.
4. Grill your sandwich for about 5 minutes on each side, or longer if you like them extra-crispy, just be sure the cheese is melted. Slice in half and serve hot with extra Dijon mustard.

With a green salad, this was a delicious and very satisfying meal. I think that's why I like white button mushrooms more than Portobellos; I think that they tend to retain their "meaty" texture more, and have a more substantial mouthfeel. Or maybe I overcooked my Portobellos? I can't be sure, but now I have to try again. There are worse things!

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