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Posted Mar 18, 2011 in Food | 0 Comments

Modern Hostess: For The Love of Cheese

Those of you who know me know that I am obsessed with CHEESE. I’ve tried giving it up in the past for various reasons but I just can’t… it’s too delicious. I love cheese with breakfast, lunch or dinner. I love cheese as a snack. And I love cheese for dessert. It’s just the perfect food… salty, creamy, and so flavorful. And there’s so many different varieties! I love them all, even the smelly ones. I’ve heard of people not liking cheese… and I must say, I just don’t get it (no offense to any non-cheese eaters out there).

Despite the fact that cheese has a reputation for being fatty and therefore unhealthy, it’s actually loaded with nutrients. Like all dairy products, cheese is high in calcium and essential vitamins like vitamin D. Cheese also contains protein, and the more aged it is, the lower it tends to be in lactose, thus making it an excellent source of the above nutrients for individuals who are lactose-intolerant.

As someone who loves to cook, I truly appreciate the diversity of cheese . Cheese pairs well with so many different accompaniments… why stop at crackers? Cheese tastes great with sweet fruits like apples and pears, is delicious with crunchy nuts, and of course is fantastic grated over pasta. It tastes good cold, it tastes good hot… it’s sensational in salads, succulent in sandwiches, even by itself, and takes soups to a whole new level (French onion soup anyone?). It’s simply the best food ever.

As you can tell, I am a very enthusiastic cheese lover. So I’m always trying to think of creative ways to eat it. If you read my previous post entitled “Bread and Butter”, then you know that I love bread. And now you know that I love cheese. Which brings us to an obvious longstanding favorite of mine… grilled cheese sandwiches. You may think I’m referring to those diner-style, processed cheese on white bread sandwiches that are fried in butter… and I do love those (especially dipped in ketchup… yum), but as a true cheese lover, I often want to eat something a little more sophisticated. So when I make grilled cheese, I use an interesting bread like multigrain or pumpernickel, and a cheese that I know will melt into gooey deliciousness, such as brie, mozzarella, or fontina. Or gruyère. Or camembert. Really, they’re all wonderful. And I make my grilled cheese even more fantastic by adding sliced apple to it and flattening it out in my Panini maker. The combination of sweet apple and salty cheese is truly amazing… try this sandwich and see for yourself! If you don’t have a panini maker or grill, use a frying pan and make sure to fry both sides. You can also use an oven… just leave your sandwich open-faced and close it right after you remove it from the oven.

Grilled Cheese and Apple Sandwich

Ingredients:
- 2 slices bread
- As much or as little cheese as you want
- 6 to8 pieces of thinly sliced apple
- 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary or thyme (optional)
- butter, for spreading on the outside (optional… but very delicious!)
- salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Heat grill/panini maker to medium high heat (if you can’t adjust heat on the grill, just turn it on and allow to heat up for several minutes). Assemble sandwich. Carefully butter the outsides of the bread. Place sandwich in grill and close lid. Heat until cheese is melted and bubbling and bread is golden brown.

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