Cherry Cheeseball Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Forget everything you know about grilled cheese. Chef Eric Greenspan (founder of James Beard Foundation–acclaimed restaurant The Foundry on Melrose) is taking the classic sandwich to a whole new level in The Great Grilled Cheese Book: Grown-Up Recipes for a Childhood Classic.
The cherry cheeseball grilled cheese sandwich is one of Greenspan’s favorite flavor combinations. In fact, it was inspired by his heritage. “As a kid at the family table during Shabbat and Passover, Manischewitz cherry wine was hardly palatable, but it lends the perfect sweetness and cherry note to the marmalade,” Greenspan says. “With a bread so sweet, a cherry marmalade teetering on sour and a pronounced nuttiness from the pistachios, no other cheese but a good creamy Camembert would do.”
Sounds like pretty flawless logic—and tastes like it too.
Sour Cherry Marmalade
2 pounds dried sour cherries
One 750-ml bottle Manischewitz cherry wine
½ cup red wine vinegar
8 ounces shelled pistachios (1¾ cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1½ teaspoons sugar
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
12 ounces Camembert cheese, rind removed
8 slices challah bread
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, for finishing
1. MAKE THE MARMALADE: In a heavy saucepan, combine all the ingredients, bring to a simmer over high heat and cook until the liquid is reduced by two-thirds, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor, let cool slightly and then pulse until a coarse puree forms. Let cool completely.
2. PREPARE THE PISTACHIOS: Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a bowl, toss the pistachios with the oil, sugar and salt, coating evenly. Spread the nuts on a sheet pan and toast in the oven until fragrant and lightly browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, let cool and thencoarsely chop.
3. MAKE THE GRILLED CHEESE: Divide the Camembert into four equal portions and shape each portion into a patty. Line up half of the bread slices on a work surface. Spread ¼ cup of the marmalade onto each slice, top with a cheese patty and sprinkle liberally with the pistachios. Close the sandwiches with the remaining bread slices.
4. Line a large platter with paper towels. In a skillet over high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Reduce the heat to low, add a sandwich and cook, turning once, until the bread is browned and crisp and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to the prepared platter to blot the excess grease. Repeat with the remaining butter and sandwiches.
Sour Cherry Marmalade