Thursday, April 19, 2012

Turkey and 10-Year Aged Cheddar with Caramelized Onion and Grape Grilled Cheese

Does anyone else notice that there are no longer names for recipes, just lists of whats in them? Snickerdoodles aren't called "Cinnamon Sugar Cookies". Lasagna isn't "Lasagna Noodles Layered with Meat Sauce and Ricotta". Puppy Chow certainly isn't known as "Chex Mix with Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Powdered Sugar". Even pizza has known names. We all know Hawaiian Pizza. And Meat's Lover's isn't named by the meats in them. It seems every culture has their own name for stuffed cabbage. Reuben, Dump Cake, The Chicago Mix, Gyro, Hoagie, Deep Dish, Funnel Cake, Sloppy Joe, Calzone, Buffalo Wings, Corndog, Taco, Cuban; these are all names we know. I don't refer to a Cheesy Beef ("a Beef") as "Italian Beef on Italian Bread with Peppers and Melted Cheese Dipped in Au Jus". That just sounds way classier than I would like to think about one of my favorite messy sandwiches from my hometown.

As a food blogger, I understand the need to know what you are looking at before you click on a recipe. Unfortunately, the only place we can find names for foods anymore is at a restaurant. They have the luxury of being able name a recipe and then include a description below. Fun places like Kumas Corner in Chicago name their burgers after Metal bands like the Black Sabbath that includes Blackening Spice, Chili, Pepper Jack, and Red Onion.

I also don't feel the need to know the ingredient list of a Hot Dog (ew) but I do know the ingredient list of a Chicago Style Hot Dog. Even if I forget an ingredient or two when listing it, it doesn't matter because when I eat it, I know it will be delicious.

I also know that I can't possibly think of a name for this Turkey and 10-Year Aged Cheddar with Caramelized Onion and Grape Grilled Cheese and I certainly cannot just call it a Grilled Cheese either. So I just need to throw up my hands and continue listing ingredients as recipe titles especially when us food bloggers are getting more experimental with ingredient combinations. I had never had grapes in a grilled cheese before I made this but I am definitely converted.

As you know, Happy Hubby and I have a big crush on cheese. The type of cheddar we like is not in your typical grocery store. Our preferred sharp cheddar (usually aged 5-10 years) is so sharp it bites back and sometimes even has calcium crystals and crunches when you eat it. When we have tried purchasing "extra extra sharp cheddar" at our local grocery store, we have been so disappointed. We officially give up on finding our sharp cheeses and opt for smoked when we can't get to our cheese stores. We normally go to a Wisconsin based grocery store for our favorite 7-year aged cheddar every two weeks or so. This past week, however, Happy Hubby was on his way back from the city and stopped at our favorite cheese market and picked up a 10 year cheddar and my favorite applewood smoked cheddar (1/2 pound of each equaled out to $30). Yes, we spend lotsa money on cheese but we don't care.

This recipe called for white cheddar, but we used half disappointing cheddar and half 10-year cheddar. I also opted for spinach instead arugula leaves since I had them in the fridge. Go ahead and adjust this to your liking like I did. Either way, it is insanely good and I can't wait to make it again. Keep the grapes of course and please use a thick, good quality bread. This isn't a recipe for flat and thin low calorie bread.

Turkey and 10-Year Aged Cheddar with Caramelized Onions and Grape Grilled Cheese
adapted from FoodieCrush

3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, sliced
12-15 red seedless grapes
1 pound turkey deli meat, shaved
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup 5-10 year aged cheddar
1 cup spinach leaves
8 slices potato bread
salt and pepper

1. In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter and vegetable oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until semi-transparent and caramelized. Add grapes and sauté for 5 minutes more. Remove from heat.

2. Mix the two cheeses together. Heat a skillet on medium. Butter one side of each piece of bread. On unbuttered side of 4 slices of bread layer 1/4 cup cheese, onion and grapes, 1/4 portion of turkey, 1/4 portion of spinach leaves and 1/4 cup more cheese. Place slice of bread on top, buttered side up, and grill in skillet until bread becomes golden. Flip sandwich once and cook until cheese melts and bread becomes golden. Cut in half and serve hot. 

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