By Iron Chef Leftovers
With an overabundance of tomatoes right now, I have to get creative in what I do with them; frankly, I am a little tired of eating tomatoes right now, no matter how good they are. Being in summer, I don’t know that I really want a hot meal all of the time and during one recent stretch of hot weather, I decided it was gazpacho time, and what pairs better than a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup. I figured that since I had some great tomatoes, I would take the sandwich up a few notches too. You can get the gazpacho recipe that I used here.
4 slices of brioche sandwich loaf, ¼ to ½ inch thick.
3 oz. of cheese of your choice
2 slices of prosciutto
In a 275 degree oven, put the brioche on a baking sheet and bake until just slightly dry (the consistency of barely toasted bread), about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Prepare the bread by putting ¼ of the cheese on each slice of bread. In a griddle pan large enough to hold the 4 slices of bread, cook the prosciutto until crispy on both sides over medium heat, about 2-3 minutes a side. Raise the heat to medium high and add the butter to the pan. When the butter stops foaming and beings to brown slightly, add the bread with the cheese side facing you and reduce heat to medium. When the cheese begins to melt, add the prosciutto and make a 2 sandwiches, pressing the bread together. Reduce heat to medium low and put a heavy, flat pot lid on the sandwiches. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, checking to make sure the bread is not burning, or until the cheese is completely melted. Remove from heat, cut and server immediately with the gazpacho.
I really like doing this with brioche as it adds a really deep flavor to the grilled cheese. I would recommend buying cheese in a block and shredding it yourself, shredding the cheese, rather than using slices, causes the cheese to melt faster. I used a combination of Manchego, Aged Cheddar, Emmenteller and Beecher’s Flagship, but you can use whatever cheese you would like.