The Mushroom Melt

This may be the perfect sandwich (or sammie in my household). And no, that is not a nod to Rachael Ray, but what my niece called a grilled cheese when she was little and couldn’t get the word sandwich to fully form.

I love all things patty melt, grilled cheese and mushroom. This is just missing the beef patty…but honestly the mushrooms are so Earthy that you just don’t miss it. (At this very moment, I am thinking about trying it with a thin beef patty next time though…) The funkiness of the Fontina, the sweetness from the onions and garlic and the umami from all those mushrooms and thyme. Sweet perfection.

This was supposed to be on Challah, but a week at the beach and my loaf had spoiled. I will definitely try it on that next time. We substituted Potato bread, which was on hand and did the trick.

Never forget that cheese is life.

mushmeltsAdapted from Unknown (I’ll track it down)
Yields 2 servings

1 Tbls butter
1 Tbls oil, olive
1 Small onion, yellow sliced
8 Ounce(wt)s mushrooms, cremini sliced
3 Cloves garlic, fresh chopped
1 tsp thyme, fresh chopped
1/4 Cup broth, low-sodium chicken or dry white wine
1 to taste salt and pepper
1 Tbls parsley, flat-leaf chopped
1 Cup cheese, Fontina shredded
1/4 Cup cheese, parmesan, grated
4 Slices bread, challah
2 Tbls butter

Tools Needed:
Microplane 38002 Professional Medium-Ribbon Two-Way Grater
Calphalon Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Square Griddle Pan
Kuhn Rikon Stainless Steel Epicurean Garlic Press
Lodge 10.25-Inch Cast Iron Skillet


How to slice mushrooms:
Remove the stems. Cut each mushroom in half, then turn the halves a quarter turn and cut into slices. This is the most efficient way to get uniform slices of mushrooms despite the random sizes of your mushrooms.

Have your mushrooms and onions sliced and ready to go before you start. Have your garlic and thyme ready in a separate bowl. Have your stock or wine measured and near the stove. This is called mise en place – everything in its place.

Melt the butter and heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about a minute. Add the cremini mushrooms and stir. Sprinkle a little salt over the top.

Saute until the start to caramelized and turn golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. This is important! Resist the urge to touch the pan, stir more than once per 5 minutes, etc. The more you move the mushrooms, the less they will get golden brown. Walk away.

Add the wine or stock, deglaze the pan and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper, add the parsley and remove from heat and let cool a bit.

Mix the cheese into the mushrooms.

Top half your bread slices each with 1/2 of the mushroom mixture. Top with the remaining bread slices.

Heat a griddle with butter. Once the butter is melted, place the sandwiches on the heated griddle (medium-high heat). Butter the top slice of bread while the sandwich is cooking.

Grill until the cheese has melted and the bread is golden brown, about 2 to 4 minutes per side.


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