Good morning everyone, it’s Sunday here in New York and I’m writing tomorrows post, so happy Monday. Last night we went to Scott and Alison’s for dinner where I prepared grilled cheese sandwiches. We could not just have any plain old grilled cheese sandwiches so Jennifer suggested some “fancy pants” grilled cheese sandwiches. She didn’t want my traditional Wonder Brand white bread that has been in existence since 1921. Nooo that’s not “Boujee” enough . She wanted fresh baked artisan bread that goes stale the next day. So off to Panera bread I went to buy fancy bread. Next was there was the issue of cheese. Good old American cheese was just not going to fit the bill. So I went to Uncle Giuseppe’s Market for sliced cheddar cheese. Then she wanted bacon on it. MMM yes bacon. SO while I was at Giuseppe’s I got bacon. Wait, that’s not all. There was one more secrete ingredient she wanted in her grilled cheese.

Ever since Sam, remember Sam? He was my original editor before the wonderful and talented Juliana agreed to be my editor. Now Sam agrees to write the occasional article but could not stand correcting my spelling and grammar errors any longer. Anyhow, ever since Sam started making these marvelous charcuteries with fig jam now Jennifer loves the stuff. So to top off the chilled cheese and send it over the top she wanted fig jam on it. She has has very good taste but just does not enjoy cooking as much as I do. SO I picked up a jar of fig jam as per her wishes. I also could not forget to get a pound of butter. Then is was off to our friends house to “grill”. We made one more stop on the way that I will get to a bit later in this story.

When we arrived they had prepared a large pot of split pea soup. That is now two days in a row I’m eating soup in July in New York if your keeping tabs. Once again, lucky for me their Air-conditioner was working well!

I headed right into the kitchen. This is where I am most at home. I unpacked my groceries and started cooking. Alison’s stove has a built in cast iron grill. I turned on the grill to low and let it warm up. I soon discovered that the burner located underneath the grill didn’t go all the way to the front. The back of the grill was way to hot and the front was cold. I discovered this only after I started cooking the first batch of grilled cheese. I quickly had to turn my grilled cheese 180 degrees to keep half of it from burning and cook the other half that was uncooked.

Figuring out grill was not as much of a problem as getting it low enough not to burn the bread before the cheese melted in the middle. Alison assisted me in getting the flame as low as it would go. There was a sweet spot between high and the off position. Instead of between high and low, who knew?

The grilled cheese procedure went somthing like this. I put a big ass piece of butter on the grill to melt. Even before the butter was completely melted I put a piece of the artisan sour dough bread, that was sliced thickly at Panera, on top of the butter. Then I put on two slices of cheddar cheese on top of the bread. Then I added the bacon across that and added two slices of American cheese on top of that. Then came second slice of bread. Before I could add the last slice of bread I had to add a smear of fig jam to it. Then it went right on top. The fig jam facing the cheese. I let it cook on LOW checking on how brown it was getting. Then I moved it to the side to make room to put MORE butter on the grill. I then Flipped the grilled cheese over and placed it in a pool of sizzling, but not brown, butter.

Scott of course paired the grilled cheese with a white wine but I could not drink. I had to drive home as Jennifer was in so much pain with her back but I’m sure it went well as it always does.

After dinner was dessert. I stopped at A & G bakery with Jennifer on the way to Scott and Alison’s to pick up something for dessert. Jennifer came inside with me so I didn’t over do it. I stuck with a simple small strawberry short cake. This is one of my favorite Long Island Bakeries. The A & G bakery is located on Deer Park avenue in North Babylon. Unfortunately there aren’t many bakeries like this anymore. They are all getting pushed out by the supermarket ones and the baked goods in most supermarkets I don’t think compare. Well long story short, the cake was very fresh and delicious and the company fantastic.

Until tomorrow, eat well, live well, and be happy and healthy!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

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