This is one of those recipes that’s born from a contest. Yep, I’m getting really crazy with grilled cheeses, and this one’s for the St. Francis Winery contest. Now, here’s the funny thing. I’m photographing this beauty on my front porch when my oldest son drives up. He asks what I’m doing. I tell him. ’Do you wanna eat it after I do the shots?’ ’Nah, Mom, I’m not into all these fancy things you do, I just like a regular grilled cheese.’ Me: ’Fine, no problem!’ He goes in the house, then about 10 minutes later comes out. Him: ’Mom, can I have a bite of that sandwich?’ Me: ‘Sure, I need a bite mark in, have at it…’ Him: ***he bites…chewing and chewing*** I take a few more shots. Him: ‘Uhh, Mom, can I have another bite?’ Me: ***smiling inside and think, yeah, man he’s likin’ it*** ‘Sure, I need another bite mark…’ Him: ***chewing and talking*** ‘You know this is reeeeally good, Mom, uh, can I eat it when you finish?’ All I can say if ‘The DaVinci Grilled Cheese’ made a believer out of a non-believer!
Your palate will feel like it’s tasting Michaelangelo’s glorious ceiling artistry in the ‘Sistine Chapel’…warm, creamy, salty, nutty, buttery, crunchy…if MIchaelangelo were a chef this is the kind of grilled cheese he would have created. The DaVinci Grilled Cheese must be paired with something its equal mangificence~~St. Francis Chardonnay, Wild Oak, Sonoma County. It will mesmerizer your tastebuds, too!
Makes: One Sammich
What you need:
1/3 cup grapes sliced lengthwise in half
2 tbl sliced almonds
4 slices very thinly sliced bread (can be purchase)
2 tbl softened salted butter
3 tbl diced prosciutto
1/3 cup Fontina cheese broken into small pieces
¼ cup fresh watercress (with some of the stems left on)
What you do:
In a small non-stick skillet (or well seasoned cast iron skillet) over medium heat sauté grapes for about 5-7 minutes. Remove grapes from skillet and place in a small bowl. In the same skillet, place the sliced almonds and toss/toast over the heat for about 2-3 minutes, careful not to burn. Remove and place in a small bowl.
Butter one side of each of the slices of thin bread. In a medium size skillet over medium heat, place two slices of the bread, buttered side down, and grill to a golden brown. Using tongs, remove and set aside. These two pieces will be used in the center of the sandwich. Now begin the building of the DaVinci.
Place a third slice of bread, buttered side down, in the same hot skillet. (Heat should be at medium to medium low) Put about a third of the fontina cheese on top. Cover with a lid and grill the bottom until golden brown. The cheese will begin to melt. Sprinkle half of the diced prosciutto on top of the cheese, pat into the melting cheese and place one piece of the previously grilled bread on top, grilled side down. Turn off the heat and move the skillet aside to add the next layers.
Add grilled bread (grilled side down) and top with one-third of the cheese, and the grapes. Add the next layer of grilled bread (grilled side down) cheese, almonds, and the rest of the prosciutto. Top with the last piece of buttered bread, buttered side up. Return the skillet to stovetop over medium heat. Using an egg flipper, turn the sandwich upside down, so this side can grill to a golden brown.
Once this last side is grilled, remove the sandwich, place on a cutting board and gently peel back the top layer and add half of the watercress. Flip the sandwich and do the same thing adding the watercress. Using a serrated knife, slice the sandwich and serve. Yes, it’s a ‘masterpiece!’
©Alice D’Antoni Phillips Ally’s Kitchen