The Beekman Blaak Grilled Cheese

A grilled cheese sandwich.

Who would think that you’d need a recipe for making a grilled cheese sandwich? But when we fell in love with the sandwich created by chef Norm Phenix of 204 Main Bar and Bistro in Sharon Springs, NY, we had to ask him to share the specifics of his concoction.

Here it is:

Grilled cheese w/ Beekman Blaak & mushroom Duxelles

Ingredients:

  • Beekman Blaak 
  • 1 lb. crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup diced onion or shallot
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp fresh minced parsley
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper 
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 loaf of favorite crusty bread
  • Instructions for the Mushroom Duxelles:

    In two separate frying pans, sauté onions/shallots (first pan) and mushrooms (second pan) in two tablespoons butter, each.

    Saute onions and mushrooms until they have released most of their water and are beginning to turn light brown (8 to 10 minutes over medium heat).

    Add 2 tablespoons of white wine to each pan to deglaze.  Continue cooking until liquid has evaporated.

    Let cool for a few minutes, then place in a food processor. Process until mushrooms and onions/shallots form a smooth paste.

    Stir in parsley and thyme. Season w/ salt and freshly ground pepper.

    Let mixture cool before making sandwich.

    Instructions for Assembly

    If you’re cutting your own loaf of bread, make sure that slices are no thicker than 1/2 inch.  The cheese won’t easily melt on overly thick bread.  Also, you want to keep a proper proportion among the cheese, bread, and mushroom mixture.

    Remove the rind from Beekman Blaak and slice the cheese as thin as possible.

    On the inside of one slice of bread, spread a thin layer of the mushroom mixture. Lay a thin layer of cheese on the other slice and close the sandwich. 

    Instructions for Grilling

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    In an ovenproof frying pan, melt at least one tablespoon of butter per sandwich over medium-high heat.

    Place the sandwich in the melted butter, making sure the bottom layer is in full contact with the pan.

    Once the butter starts to brown, the bread will be soon to follow.  Flip sandwich once the first side has reached the desired degree of brownness and crispiness.

    Add a little more butter to the pan if the bread has soaked in all the butter and place in the oven for about five minutes or until cheese has melted.

    Tips from the professionals!

    If you do not have an ovenproof frying pan or you’re making a large quantity of sandwiches, transfer sandwiches to a cookie sheet that has been warming in the oven once they have been browned on each side in the frying pan.

    If you’re using a panini press, butter the outside of each slice of bread before assembling the sandwich.

    Slice each sandwich in half before plating to make sure the cheese has properly melted. If not, return to oven until melted.

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