I learned to use cream cheese to make creamier grilled cheese sandwiches from the lovely cookbook Cowgirl Creamery Cooks by Sue Conley and Peggy Smith, founders of the artisan and organic Cowgirl Creamery. I know that some things are better in threes: An apple pie is better when you mix three different kinds of apples into it, and a grilled cheese is better with three different kinds of cheese. But what the Cowgirls’ cookbook taught me is that if those three cheeses are also three different textures, you’ll get a better melt.
I used a combination of grated cheddar and Monterrey jack along with just a light spread of cream cheese on the bread to bolster the cheese, and the end product is super creamy and cheesy, but you still get that delightful pull and stringiness that comes with the melted grated cheese. It. Is. Incredible. Super rich though, so be warned, and cook low and slow so you get crisp outsides while giving the inside enough time to really melt into a delicious goo.
Use caramelized shallots and onions for a grilled cheese that will blow your mind, a little Parmesan too.
Strawberries are at their sweetest right now, going all the way through the summer. And while everybody knows how delicious they are in desserts, we’ve actually heard you can use them as a replacement for a tomato. I decided to try this out and see how well it worked.
I can’t take credit for this concept. That would go to Dave Woolley, a Denver-based culinary consultant (who, full disclosure, does work with California Strawberries). He said: try using strawberries in place of tomatoes in a veggie sandwich with goat cheese, in a Caprese-style salad, or in a salsa with seafood dishes.
No mention of spaghetti with strawberry sauce… How about a big ol’ slab of strawberry on a BLT or burger? You can also put them on pizza. They benefit from some balsamic reduction added post-bake. Slice like pepperoni.
An interesting idea for people who are allergic to tomatoes! I’m not, but a co-worker is. The article admits that this isn’t cost-effective.
Another tomato substitute is watermelon. It doesn’t have the acidity, but you can add lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, or what-have-you.