El Pescador Grilled Cheese
Lebanon’s Lamp Post Cheese has Grilled Cheese Thursday every week, always with a rotating special sandwich. This one features Lamp Post Cheese’s own Apollo, a raw cow’s milk cheese aged two to three months. The Spanish cheese Mahon (made in Menorca, a small island in the Mediterranean Sea) inspired it. A generous smear of piquant romesco sauce complements the Apollo.
El Pescador Grilled Cheese | Makes 1 sandwich
Recipe courtesy of Lamp Post Cheese
2 slices sourdough bread, sliced about 1/2-inch thick (they use bread from Cincinnati’s Sixteen Bricks bakery)
1 to 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 to 2 tablespoons romesco sauce (see recipe at right)
2 ounces Lamp Post Cheese Apollo, or other semi-firm, mild cheese, thinly sliced
1 ounce Comté or Gruyère cheese, thinly sliced
Handful fresh watercress
Smear a thin, even layer of mayonnaise on the outer sides of the bread; you’re using this instead of butter to grill the sandwich (it works great!). Flip the bread over and smear a generous layer of romesco sauce on the inner sides of the bread. Stack the cheese slices on one slice of the bread, scatter the watercress over the cheese, and top with the remaining slice of bread. Heat a medium, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the sandwich and cook until nicely browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip and repeat. Cut into segments and serve immediately.
Romesco Sauce Makes about 3 1/2 cups
Romesco sauce originated in Tarragona, south of Barcelona, made by fishermen who would use it with the day’s fresh fish.
1 cup whole raw almonds
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cloves garlic
5 medium Roma tomatoes
4 jarred roasted piquillo peppers or 2 roasted red bell peppers
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the almonds, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Process until the almonds are finely ground (this may take a while). Add the tomatoes, roasted peppers and parsley and process until smooth and pasty. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a clean quart jar. Tightly covered and refrigerated, romesco sauce will keep for about a month.