- Red Pepper Mayonnaise
- Swiss Cheese
- Pan Ambrugla
the cheese: baby swiss
This cheese was creamy, buttery and great. Since it was my father’s birthday dinner, he was able to choose the cheese. Unsurprisingly, he chose Swiss. I think if he was able to live on only Swiss and possibly bread, he would. I enjoy Swiss just as much as the next guy, I simply don’t have an obsession like father.
Now, I must ask you, do you know the difference between Swiss and Baby Swiss? Let me, er, WiseGeek.com tell you:
Baby Swiss cheese is a young, semi-soft whole milk cheese distinguishable by its myriad of small holes. The cheese is closely related to Swiss cheese, the generic name for a large family of holey cheeses which are quite popular around the world. Many delis and stores carry Baby Swiss cheese, often pre-sliced so that it can be conveniently used in sandwiches. It is also available in blocks for larger cooking projects.
To make baby Swiss cheese, several things about the cheesemaking process are altered. The cheese is made with whole milk, for a more rich, buttery flavor. The milk may also be cut with water, which slows the bacterial digestion process. Most importantly, baby Swiss cheese is aged for a very short period of time, so that the bubbles do not have time to grow very large. The shorter curing time also results in a more mild flavor, which some consumers prefer.
Monday, March 15, 2010, was my father’s 60th birthday. Please, take a minute to wish him a belated happy birthday and many more in the future. In order to celebrate, my father personally requested not to go out to dinner but for me to cook him a grilled cheese sandwich. Now how about that? That is a huge compliment.
The other ingredient my father suggested was red peppers. Being the creative person that I am, I did not want to simply use grilled red peppers and Swiss cheese. It seemed too simple, too pedestrian. Therefore, I consulted another favorite ingredient of my fathers, mayonnaise and decided to mix the two. Genius, eh?
I searched the Internet and found exactly what I wanted: a recipe for Red-Pepper Mayonnaise. In order to work with the ingredients that I had, I cut down on the amount of pepper and garlic, did not include the lemon juice and added a bit of chopped up shallot. When I tasted the mayonnaise, prior to including it in the grilled cheese sandwich, I thought it tasted great and even had a nice a kick. I was all set.
My father believed that the spread had too much of a kick so we added more mayonnaise to the mix and allowed him to dip his grilled cheese sandwich in the cooled down version. When I tried the sandwich, I was actually disappointed: I did not think it had enough of a kick so I dipped my sandwich into more of the non-cooled down spread. Odd how two people, eating the same sandwich, can have two very different opinions.
The only other choice was the bread. I was not sure what route to go until my mother found “Pan Ambrugla” at the local market. They just started carrying this bread, which is a cross between Italian/white and wheat bread. I said sure, why not try it?
I have had wheat/white bread before and it was good but did not have an overtly taste of both wheat and white. Not the case with this bread. When tasted plain and not toasted, I could taste the Italian and the wheat. It was very weird but at the same time, very good. I would definitely buy it again.
I never did ask my dad what he would grade this grilled cheese sandwich but I do believe our grade would be very similar, if only for different reasons. The grilled cheese sandwich and idea was great. The execution was just a bit off. My father thought it had too much of a kick while I thought it had too little of a kick. Sure, I could not satisfy both requests with one spread, but I could at least come close. If I were to ever make this again, I would make two different mayonnaise’s, one with a nice kick and the other one a bit more milder. Hopefully that way, two people with two different tastes could enjoy the same grilled cheese sandwich.
ingredients were purchased at…
- Miles Farmer’s Market (Swiss Cheese, Pan Ambrugla, Red Pepper)