Friday, April 20, 2018

The Matador

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As I mentioned before, the Grilled Cheese Academy Contest is open now and I'm working on new entries to hopefully take first place this year. Because of the way contesting works, most companies require that your recipe be kept a secret allowing them to make the big reveal and announce their favorites. Even after you win there are so many times I have been legally required to not utter a word of my excitement for weeks or even months at a time, until the "official reveal" is released. Let me tell you, when you win an amazing trip or a big huge cash prize it is SO freaking hard to keep it under wraps! 
I'll never forget sitting in New York City after just winning the Away from Home Cooking Contest with the the entire crew and fellow contestants for our celebration dinner at The Marrow. I was on such a high from winning and my phone was going crazy with friends and family asking me who won. It was non-stop facebook notifications and I was told I couldn't post anything or let anyone know until they posted the reveal the next day. I just had to ignore all of the messages, phone calls and texts while I really just wanted to look for the nearest mountain to shout it from!
Soooo since I'm not allowed to publish any of my entries before the contest is over I thought I'd share with you one of the submissions I entered last year. It didn't place with the judges, but man is it delicious! All the exotic flavors of Spain are highlighted in this melty masterpiece. A bright piquillo pepper spread, crunchy garlic chips and garlic sautéed shrimp with chorizo will make you think you’re at your favorite Tapas restaurant. Gooey Wisconsin Gouda and Butterkase are the star of the show in this delicious grilled cheese sandwich!
The Matador
¼ cup olive oil
3 very large garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1 (12 ounce) jar whole roasted piquillo peppers, drained
2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
3 ounces Spanish style smoked chorizo, sliced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces peeled and deveined shrimp
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
3 Tablespoons room temperature butter
8 slices bakery crusty bread
4 ounces Wisconsin Gouda cheese, sliced
4 ounces Wisconsin Butterkase cheese, sliced

In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over low heat until warm. Add the garlic slices and fry them for 2 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside. 
Place 2 Tablespoons of the garlic oil in a small food processor along with the piquillo peppers, sherry vinegar and kosher salt and blend until smooth.

In a large cast iron pan, warm 2 Tablespoons of the garlic oil over medium high heat. Cook the chorizo until the edges begin to brown, about 3 minutes. In a small bowl toss the smoked paprika, salt and shrimp together until the shrimp are evenly coated. Add the seasoned shrimp to the pan and cook 3-5 minutes, or until the shrimp are opaque. Add the lemon juice and parsley to the pan and remove from heat. 

Butter each slice of bread on one side only. Spread the piquillo mixture evenly on the unbuttered side of each bread slice.
Heat a large non-stick skillet or griddle pan over medium-low heat. Place 4 bread slices in skillet, buttered-side-down. Top with remaining ingredients in this order: crispy garlic chips, gouda, chorizo and shrimp and Butterkase. Top with 4 remaining bread slices, buttered-side-up. 
Grill sandwiches until bottoms are lightly browned, and the cheese begins to melt. Carefully flip the sandwiches over. Cook other sides until bread is golden and the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes per side.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

National Grilled Cheese Day

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It's National Grilled Cheese Day y'all! 
I can't think of a better thing to celebrate right now than toasty buttery bread and loads of cheese. It also happens to be smack dab in the middle of testing time for me as I dream up new entries for the Grilled Cheese Academy Contest. The contest closes May 15th and I will be submitting as many recipes as I can before the deadline. This year may be tricky though, since I can't seem to say the word cheese without Roux and Beignet tearing through the kitchen looking around desperately for a snack. If there wasn't anything dropped this is the pitiful look I'll be getting until I finally give in and share. She's really got a rough life, huh?
If you want to follow along as I test out recipes for this contest be sure to hop over to instagram and follow me @fleurdelectable 
In 2015 I was lucky enough to win $5,000 with my Tex-Mex twist on a grilled cheese and I want to see if this year I can take first place!
This was the gorgeous shot they took of my winning dish! Looks amazing, right?!

4 ounces fresh Mexican bulk chorizo sausage
1 large ear of corn, husks and silks removed
1 small to medium poblano pepper
¼ cup olive oil 
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
4 teaspoons lime juice
¼ plus 1/8 teaspoon salt 
½ teaspoon cumin
3 Tablespoons room temperature butter
8 slices bakery jalapeno cheddar cheese bread
1 cup packed cilantro leaves
1 small clove garlic
1 Tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper
4 ounces Wisconsin pepper jack cheese, sliced
4 ounces Wisconsin aged cheddar, sliced
In a medium skillet, fry the chorizo, over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through. Drain on paper towels and set aside. 
Brush the corn and poblano pepper with 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil. In a large grill pan or on an outdoor grill set to high heat, char the poblano until the skin is black and blistering, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the grill, wrap it tightly in foil and set it aside allowing it to steam. Grill the corn, turning frequently, until all sides are evenly charred. Once cool enough to handle, cut the corn kernels away from the cob and peel the blackened skin off of the poblano. Place the corn kernels in a small bowl and stir together with the mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of the lime juice, 1/8 teaspoon of the salt and the cumin. Remove the stem and seeds from the poblano and slice into strips. 
Butter each slice of bread on one side only. 
Place the cilantro, garlic, 1 Tablespoon of the lime juice, jalapeno, 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of the salt in a small food processor and blend until smooth. Spread mixture evenly on unbuttered side of each bread slice.
Heat a large non-stick skillet or griddle pan over medium-low heat. Place 4 bread slices in skillet, buttered-side-down. Top with remaining ingredients in this order: pepper jack cheese, chorizo, poblano strips, corn, aged cheddar. Top with 4 remaining bread slices, buttered-side-up. 
Grill sandwiches until bottoms are lightly browned, and the cheese begins to melt. Carefully flip the sandwiches over. Cook other sides until bread is golden and the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes per side.


What's your go-to thing to put on a grilled cheese sandwich? Better yet, what's the craziest ingredient you've added to one? I can't wait to hear!!

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