Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse gives us an amped-up take on a comfort food classic.
Fontina, mushroom and cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup
Ingredients for sandwiches:
- 1 cup grated fontina cheese
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 20 slices white sandwich bread
- 20 very thin slices prosciutto
- 10 thinly sliced crimini mushrooms
- 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
Ingredients for tomato soup:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¾ cup onion, diced small
- ½ cup carrot, diced small
- ½ cup celery, diced small
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juice reserved
- 1 qt chicken stock
- 1 tbsp marjoram
- 2 ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
Method for sandwiches:
- Combine the cheeses and set aside.
- Lay 10 slices of bread out on a clean surface. Carefully fold 2 slices of prosciutto onto the bread being sure that the prosciutto does not reach over the edge of the bread.
- Lay between 9 and 12 slices of mushrooms over the prosciutto in 1 layer, and top with 1/4 cup of the cheese.
- Place a piece of bread on top of the sandwich and brush with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
- Heat a grill pan over medium heat and once hot, place 2 sandwiches, olive oil side down on the grill. Brush the exposed side of the sandwich with another teaspoon or so of olive oil. Use a grill press or another pan to weight the sandwiches.
- Cook the sandwiches for 2 ½ to 3 minutes, or until golden brown grill marks have formed and the cheese is beginning to melt.
- Turn to the other side and cook for another, 2 ½ to 3 minutes, or until crispy and the cheese is melted.
- Remove from the grill and cut in half diagonally. Continue to cook the remaining 8 sandwiches in the same manner.
Yield: 10 sandwiches
Method for tomato soup:
- Set a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil.
- Once oil is hot, add the onions, carrots and celery to the pan. Saute the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the carrots are soft, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic to the pan and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato paste, the tomatoes and their juices to the pan and stir to incorporate. Continue to cook until the liquid comes to a boil.
- Add the chicken stock and marjoram to the pan and return to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer, season with the salt and pepper, and cook until the flavors have married, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the soup from the heat and, using an immersion blender, or in batches in a bar blender, puree the soup until smooth.
- Return the soup to the heat and add the balsamic vinegar and heavy cream to the soup. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the basil, and serve immediately with the Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.
Courtesy Emeril Lagasse,