Wednesday, April 10

Strawberry Mascarpone Grilled Cheese

 How official do I look with a custom made meme for Coffee Talk?!

This week I'm hosting my friend Vijay from NoshOnIt. I first "met" Vijay over the summer when he asked me to be a Featured Chef on his website NoshOnIt. Then we officially met a few weeks ago in the Boston area for brunch with his fellow Nosher Alex, Joanne from Fifteen Spatulas and Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food. Not only was I wowed by the knowledge he and Alex have for technology, websites, networking... Vijay is a real foodie!

Everyone welcome Vijay and lets all hop on the National Grilled Cheese Month train and make this sandwich! 




Hi Bakeaholic Mama readers! My name is Vijay and I’m the “Chief Nosher” over at NoshOnIt. I’m so happy to be guest posting here today and first things first - congratulations to Carrie and her family on their new house! I can’t wait to see what more amazing thing she whips up in a brand new kitchen!


Before we get into this, I have a confession to make...I’m not much of a baker. My mom didn’t really bake when I was growing up and throughout my cooking career (both professionally and at home), I’ve always gravitated towards the salty, savory stuff. Now, don’t get me wrong, I can rock out on a piece of cake like the best of them, but I just prefer someone else to make it!





So, this is my way of doing dessert...completely on the stove! Given that it’s National Grilled Cheese month. you’ve probably seen hundreds of “grown up” grilled cheese recipes out there using everything from fancy French cheeses to avocados to bacon (on a side note, all of those things are always welcome). But today, I wanted to do something a little different. Something a little sweeter. Something a little more decadent but still worthy of being given the title of a “Grilled Cheese.”


And so I present to you, Strawberry Mascarpone Grilled Cheese aka the Ooo Baby Baby Sandwich.



 Still wondering why I call it that?? I mean, come on. Just look at it! Melty sweet mascarpone cheese, strawberry compote, and fresh strawberries, all sandwiched between two thick slices of buttery brioche bread. As Ina would say, how bad can that be?


Instead of the American cheese we all know and love, I used mascarpone (which I still have the hardest time spelling...gotta remind myself that it’s MASCARPONE, not MARSCAPONE). I stir in some sugar and lemon zest (use meyer lemons if you can find them) to sweeten things up. Then, this guy gets a double dose of strawberries. First, I make a quick compote on the stove with some diced strawberries, sugar, and tangy balsamic vinegar. The secret ingredient here is just one big turn of your pepper grinder. Yes, that’s right, black pepper! A little bit goes a long way to balance out the sweetness of the berries and the tartness of the vinegar and just makes this that much more elegant.





Then all you have to do is butter up a couple of slices of brioche (challah or cinnamon raisin bread would also be great), load ‘em up with the mascarpone spread, strawberry compote, and some sliced fresh strawberries, and toss em in a pan! Since the bread is so buttery already, it cooks up in just a few minutes.


Allow it to cool for a few minutes so the filling doesn’t spill out, dust with powdered sugar (as if there’s not enough already), cut in half (or triangles if that’s how you remember it), and serve. This is delicious for dessert and would be great for brunch as well. I might have had it for lunch today with a salad...but don’t tell anyone.




Thanks again to Carrie for having me and I can’t wait to make this for you in your brand new home! Happy Noshin’ everybody and I hope you’ll come say hello over on NoshOnIt!



RECIPE
Strawberry Mascarpone Grilled Cheese Sandwich


Makes 2 sandwiches


4 1” slices brioche or challah
1 pint strawberries
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 grind black pepper
1/2 cup sugar, divided in half
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 meyer lemon (or regular lemon), zested
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
Powdered sugar



First, make the compote: Remove the hull of all of the strawberries. Slice 4 of the strawberries into 3-4 slices each and set aside. Cut the remaining strawberries into a large dice and add to a small saucepan. Add the balsamic vinegar, small grind of black pepper and 1/4 cup of sugar to the pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until the strawberries are just start to break down. Remove from the heat, allow to come to room temperature then refrigerate until ready to use.


Next, make the mascarpone spread: Mix the mascarpone with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Set aside.


Assemble the sandwiches: Spread 1 side of each slice of bread with a layer of the mascarpone. Top with sliced strawberries then spoon 1-2 tbsp of the strawberry balsamic compote on top. Press the slices together and generously butter each side. Griddle in a pre-heated pan or cast iron skillet for ~2 minutes per side or until just golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then dust with powdered sugar and serve.



NoshOn.It 

Vijay, Thank you so much for your guest post! These sandwiches are probably the best looking dessert grilled cheeses I've ever seen.

Can you give Bakeaholic Mama readers a run down of what NoshOnIt is all about?

Absolutely! Think of NoshOnIt as a daily dose of cooking inspiration that comes straight to you. We have a daily newsletter (kind of like a DailyCandy) that sends you one hand-picked recipe from one amazing blogger or chef along with one expert cooking tip to help you step up your game in the kitchen. And, every day of the week is a different theme (e.g. Meatless Monday, Healthy Tuesday, Sweet Tooth Friday...where we featured Carrie) so you only get stuff that’s interesting to you. We work with an amazing (and growing) group of bloggers to showcase what we think is the best of the best.


What inspired you to start NoshOnIt?

This all started with my passion for wanting to help people realize that anyone can be a great cook at home. You don’t have to have a lot of time, money, or experience - just a little bit of inspiration and a little bit of education to constantly encourage you to get creative in the kitchen. What I hope is that when you receive our newsletter every day, your eyes perk up and you’re suddenly excited to get home and cook that night. Plus, along the way, I really want to make sure that you’re discovering great new bloggers you’ll love and get to know.


You spend so much time highlighting bloggers recipes on your website but I want to know what YOUR favorite thing to make is?

I go through phases. I’ll go a few months at a time obsessed with one kind of food, then overnight switch to something else. I really enjoy experimenting with new cuisines so lately it’s been a lot of Korean. But, if I were to choose one thing, it would be Pork Carnitas. I just can’t get enough.


We all love some trashy food from time to time. Tell me what your weakness is?

Cool Ranch Doritos. And homemade chocolate chip cookies. Plain, no nuts, no berries, nothing. If either of those are in my sight, stay away. 

Who or what inspires you to get in the kitchen?

My friends, my family...and my stomach! Cooking is a very therapeutic process for me and I love the process of being in the kitchen and working through a recipe from start to finish. Admittedly, I’m not the best “sharer” in the kitchen! I actually really enjoy cooking by myself (it’s “me time”) but absolutely love to see the look on people’s faces when they try my food. Perhaps it’s an ingredient or spice they’ve never tried before, or a dish that’s just typically out of their comfort zone. Either way, I try to make food that just satisfies you from the inside out. Plus, a guy’s gotta eat!

Be sure to check out Vijay's website NoshOnIt as well as find them on Twitter and Facebook.


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33 comments:

  1. Loving this different take on grilled cheese!

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  2. Oooh! Delish! My sister made one for me one time, but used strawberry preserves with the mascarpone and Italian bread. That was amazing, I can't imagine how amazing this one is!

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  3. Thanks again for having me Carrie! Erin - thanks so much, it's really good and so versatile! Diana - that's totally a great shortcut. In fact, you can use any kind of preserves you like and it would be delish.

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  4. Good to see you over here, Vijay! I almost cried when I opened up my social media this morning and had that sandwich staring me in the face. OH MY GOODNESS. And my little boy will do anything for strawberries, so now I have another secret weapon under my belt!

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  5. Fun guest post and good idea to put the flip on Vijay! Speaking of flip, great Grilled Cheese :)

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  6. What a great guest post! This grilled cheese is out of this world.

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    1. Hope you guys try it out Meagan - it was so good1

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  7. Brilliant...my grandchildren are going to love these!

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    1. Thanks Carol - I'm sure the adults will love them too =)

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  8. I can't wait to try these! They look amazing! PINNING!

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    1. Appreciate it Jessica - let me know what you think when you do!

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  9. There's nothing better than strawberries with mascarpone!

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  10. I'm so glad I got to meet everybody and we could all get together! This strawberry mascarpone grilled cheese is brilliant.

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    1. Ditto! Looking forward to doing it again!

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  11. Vijay! AMAZING!
    I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but this could work for me...for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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  12. Strawberry marscapone sounds heavenly :) I need this in my life!

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    1. Yes you do! I bet it would be even better know considering how good the strawberries are!

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  13. This dessert sounds heavenly! I love that it's easily made on the stove.

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    1. Thanks Jennie! I'm not too good with the baking so stove-top desserts are right up my alley =)

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  14. Best. grilled. cheese. ever.

    Need I say more?

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  15. This looks amazing. It would be a delicious entry in the Grilled Cheese Academy Recipe Showdown. http://GrilledCheeseAcademy.com

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  16. Hi Vijay!! These sandwiches look unbelievable! You know I'm a huge fan of NoshOn.It, you guys do an incredible job! I will definitely have to give these a whirl, my family will love them :)

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    1. Aw, thank you Emily - that's so nice of you! We're big fans of yours too =) In fact, made a Vesper the other night!

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  17. You know I'll have to try this at home. Maybe I'll put a secret ingredient in there that I won't mention to you. ;-) Okay, okay, it's shredded coconut. This looks delicious. When I saw the picture I was like, what's that spread?

    Berries in the middle and grilled cheese? That sounds addictive. I've seen something similar offered by a store. I bet they get a lot people going there over and over just to have a taste.

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  18. Full disclosure -- I don't like strawberries. No. I LOVE strawberries. And, since no one else in my house likes them much at all, I saved this for an evening when I'd be on my own.
    Now, with that said, this cannot be worth it. The mess-to-enjoyment level is way too high. And that, is the problem here. It's good. I don't think it's amazing. But for me? I would rather just wash and hull the berries, and then spend the time snacking and reading rather than the various parts of this sandwich.
    I'm glad others have enjoyed it considerably, but I won't save the recipe.

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    1. It's a grilled cheese sandwich, I'm not sure what you were expecting here.....

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  19. My sister made one for me one time, but used strawberry preserves with the mascarpone and Italian bread. That was amazing, I can't imagine how amazing this one is!

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