2 slices bread, pain levain or sourdough – not more than 1/2 inch thick
2 to 3 ounces grated mixed cheeses*
Heat a heavy pan, griddle or comal over medium-low heat.
Thinly spread one side of each bread slice with soft butter. Place both slices of bread on the warm skillet and sprinkle the grated cheeses over the bread evenly in a thin layer. Adjust the heat so the bread sizzles gently and cheese begins to melt. When the cheese is nearly melted, use a spatula to flip one slice over on top of the other, joining the melted cheese. Keep turning the sandwich, pressing gently, until both sides are crusty, and the cheese is melted. Serve with Spicy Tomato Jam for dipping.
Spicy Tomato Jam
2 pounds ripe tomatoes (about 5 large) roughly chopped or a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 to 4 serrano chilies diced with seeds
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
Place all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated and it is as thick as applesauce, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with sugar, vinegar, salt and/or pepper. Remove from the heat and cool. Serve warm with Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
* Our favorite combo is Cacique Asadero, Enchilado and Manchego in equal amounts.
1/2 to 1 bunch Tuscan or Lacinato kale, washed, stems removed and leaves cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 cup cooked white or red quinoa – or a combo is nice
1 cup sweet potato, peeled, 1/2-inch dice, roasted with salt, pepper and olive oil until soft
Cotija Cheese Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated cotija cheese*
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil. Whisk in grated cheese and set aside.
Pour half the dressing over the kale in a large bowl. Massage dressing into the leaves with your hands briefly. Add the quinoa, sweet potatoes, remaining dressing and toss together, taste, adjust seasoning and serve.
* Cacique cheeses are a great choice. We have been using their cheeses at Border Grill for over 25 years.
Chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken pay tribute to their Mothers with two sweet recipes.
Ruthie Feniger’s Frozen Fruit Mold
1 pint sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
walnuts, toasted and chopped
maraschino cherries or fresh, pitted cherries
Lightly butter a ring mold. Combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl and spoon into the ring mold. Freeze until solid. Unmold onto a platter and garnish with fresh fruit in the middle of the ring.
Ruth Milliken’s Hot Fudge Sauce
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons coffee, double strength
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
Melt the chocolate in a bowl or double boiler over simmering water. Add the sugar and stir to combine. Cover and continue cooking over hot water for 30 minutes.
Add the coffee, vanilla and salt. Stir to combine. Then gradually add the evaporated milk, stirring until smooth and glossy. Serve over cold custard or ice cream. Fudge Sauce keeps in the refrigerator for several weeks.
To reheat, warm in the microwave at full power 1 minute or on the stovetop over low heat. Serve with your favorite ice cream.