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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Stephen Tyler Grilled Cheese

Even before Dave and I started dating I was hearing about this grilled cheese sandwich from him. While piecing together my blogs for Grilled Cheese Month 2014, I knew that it had to be included. The below post is a guest blog from my boyfriend Dave, enjoy: There is a place in a desert in the United States where the corners of four states touch, being the meeting place of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. This location is noteworthy because you can say after you go that you stood in four states at once; at every other place in the United States you are in one to three states only. This feat has never seemed all that important to me, but it is fun for some people.

Imagine the meeting place of the four corners, only each state is replaced by a piece of American cheese, and a cylinder of earth underneath the meeting place of the states is ground beef on a griddle. You are imagining a cheeseburger with a large amount of cheese, each piece spilling about three-fourths onto the griddle. The cheese on the hamburger melts and the cheese on the griddle crisps and, when folded back onto the hamburger, lends an additional textural element to the resulting cheeseburger, in addition to amplifying by four times the flavor and fat of the cheese.


I’ve never eaten nor attempted to eat this cheeseburger. For me, it is part of a legend about a restaurant in Connecticut, what called I don’t remember, recounted to me by a man with a name a near match to that of Aerosmith rocker Steven Tyler. However accomplished he may be musically, it is better to not dwell on the idea of Steven Tyler in a food blog.


That fabled cheeseburger illumined more facets of the application of cheese, and subtly influenced my notion of the grilled cheese sandwich.

THE STEPHEN TYLER GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH


I say subtly because the sandwich here is ultimately a grilled cheese with additional cheese on the outside. The vision is of a self-lubricating grilled cheese sandwich combining the richness of a melted cheese interior with the crispness of a toasted cheese skin. Taco Bell has made forays into this realm of textural combination.

(Artfully placed (?) cheese not representative of actual amount used, which was much more.)

INGREDIENTS
Serves 1
Two (2) slices of bread
Quantity (Q) cheddar cheese
Quantity (Q) shredded mozzarella cheese
Quantity (Q) shredded Parmesan cheese

The quantities (above) of cheese, and even the varieties, are left to the consumer's discretion. Leftover cheese, OK. Err with more cheese.


METHOD
Craft a sandwich with bread and cheese - the cheddar slices and a one-third part of the mozzarella. Prepare stove-top to medium heat. In a non-stick pan, distribute a second part of the mozzarella and half of the Parmesan cheese, in a rough bread-shaped mass, directly. Set the created sandwich onto the pile of cheese, which should already be melting.


After a minute, you should be able to gently nudge the sandwich, with the melted cheese attached to the bottom piece of bread, loose from the pan. Do this to reassure yourself that it will not stick. With trepidation, over the next minute or two peek under the sandwich. When the cheese on the bottom looks brown and toasted, breathe deeply and prepare to flip the sandwich.




Set last part mozzarella, last part Parmesan in bread-shaped pile in an empty region of the pan. Use spatula deftly to control the sandwich as you flip it, quickly, onto the pile of cheese. After a minute, with a slight prod, free the sandwich, with cheese melted to the now-bottom piece of bread, from the pan. Lower the heat of the stove-top and expend some minutes while the cheese between the bread melts.


Remove the sandwich from the pan; it is finished and ready to serve.


Cut the sandwich diagonally and plate. Lean one half of the sandwich against the other - variety in elevation looks interesting.


PRODUCT
The Stephen Tyler sandwich is a grilled cheese mutation, a dinosaur with feathers instead of scales - a divergence in the grilled cheese sandwich line. It is crisper, more deeply colored, richer, and fattier, and it lubricates its own pan. It need not kill the ancestor sandwich outright, but is itself a grilled cheese well fit to be consumed, and with fervor.

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