Grilled Cheese & Bacon Sandwiches with Cheese Curds

Cheese Curd Grilled Cheese. JoeBeef_FW_Oct2011
Photo Credit: Fredrika Stjärne, Food&Wine Magazine, 2011.

 

 

Cheese curds are small chunks of just-made cheese that haven’t been pressed into a shape. They’re milky and delicious in a grilled cheese sandwich like this one, which is spread with Joe Beef’s signature “chicken glace mayo,” made at the restaurant with chicken stock that Morin says has been “reduced to oblivion.” He suggests substituting beef bouillon to replicate his uniquely savory mayonnaise.

By Frédéric Morin
Food & Wine Magazine
October 2011

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1/2 beef bouillon cube
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Sriracha
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
12 slices of bacon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
8 slices of white sandwich bread
1/2 pound sharp cheddar, cut into 4 slices
1 cup cheddar cheese curds

Directions:
In a small bowl, crush the bouillon cube into 2 teaspoons of hot water until dissolved. Whisk in the mayonnaise and Sriracha and season with salt and pepper.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, in another skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, turning once, until crisp, 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Set a griddle over 2 burners and turn the heat to moderate. Butter the bread slices on 1 side. Spread the other side of 4 bread slices with the spicy mayonnaise and top with the onion, cheddar, cheese curds and bacon. Close the sandwiches buttered side out and griddle over moderately low heat until crisp, about 4 minutes per side. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.

Cook’s Notes:
Cheese curds are available at specialty food shops and cheese shops.

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Thai Fried Chicken

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Sriracha, fish sauce and rice vinegar combine in this nice Asian-inspired twist on classic crispy fried chicken. I like to serve this dish family style, on top of a baby bok choy and kumquat salad with limes.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus more for frying
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
1 Tablespoon Sriracha
2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks or thighs
1 cup rice flour

Directions:
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, fish sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar and Sriracha.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Add the chicken to the marinade and gently toss to coat. Marinate for at least 1 hour.

In large bowl, add the rice flour. Dredge the chicken with a coat of rice flour, shaking off any excess. Set coated chicken pieces aside. Repeat for the remaining chicken.

Heat 1 inch of oil to 375°F in a large cast iron skillet or a Dutch oven. Working in small batches, gently place the chicken into the hot oil and fry on both sides until crispy and cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.

To serve place on a platter and serve immediately.


Grilled Lobsters with Miso Sriracha Butter

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Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
2 Tablespoons white miso
1 Tablespoon Sriracha
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 bunches of scallions
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
White ground pepper, to taste
8 long metal skewers
Four 1 1/2-pound lobsters, halved lengthwise, claws detached and reserved
Lemon wedges, for serving


Directions:

In a small saucepan, melt 
the butter. Whisk in the miso, Sriracha and lemon juice. Reserve 1/4 cup of the miso butter for serving.

Light a grill. In a large bowl, toss the scallions with the 
oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning, until lightly charred and tender, 5 minutes. Chop the scallions and toss with 1 tablespoon of the miso butter.

Skewer the lobster bodies from the tail to the head to keep them straight. Brush the lobster meat with 2 tablespoons 
of the miso-chile butter. Grill the lobster bodies and claws over moderate heat, turning and basting the meat with 
the remaining miso butter, until the shells are bright red, 7 to 8 minutes for the tails and 12 to 15 minutes for the claws. Remove the skewers.

Arrange the lobsters on a platter or plates and scatter the scallions on top. Serve with lemon wedges and the reserved 1/4 cup of miso butter.