Thursday, 20 March 2014

Balsamic Blueberry Grilled Cheese {Week 5 of the Grilled Cheese Transformation}

Are you shaking your head? Have you not discovered the miracle of balsamic vinegar and fruit yet? Read on my sweet, your life is about to be changed forever.

The first time I saw the list of 31 Grilled Cheeses that are better than a boyfriend I was besotted by the Balsamic blueberry Grilled Cheese. It may be the most luscious looking grilled cheese ever with the purple-red berry compote, bright green spinach and molten cheese. Amanda K. by the Bay is the creator of the masterpiece- a stunning blog with gorgeous photographs and some seriously drool-worthy recipes. Do a search on her blog for 'ice cream', go on, I dare you......

I decided to try my hand at kale chips too after my success with superfood last week

You will need:

For the sandwich
Bread of your choice
1/2 cup blueberries per sandwich (I used frozen ones)
Balsamic vinegar- about 2 tsp per 1/2 cup of blueberries
Baby spinach
Cheese- I used mozzarella but some kind of nutty flavoured white cheese would be superb
Butter or margarine for spreading on the outside of the bread
Oil for the pan

For the kale chips
1 bunch of kale washed and dried
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt
Smoked paprika

First make sure your kale is very well dried. I washed it, then patted it dry on paper towels then let it air dry for a bit as well.

Blueberries go into a saucepan on medium heat

Add a splash of balsamic- I always buy the richer style (indicated here with the 4 leaves in the top left corner) because it is more concentrated and syrupy and you don't need to add any sugar.

Squash the berries as you stir and after about 5 minutes it looks like this

Meanwhile drizzle half the oil over your kale in a bowl and toss well, then add the other half- you want the kale just glistening, not too oily. Spread it out well on lined baking trays and sprinkle lightly with seat salt and smoked paprika (or anything you like). Pop in a pre-heated oven at 175C for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, drain your blueberry syrup because you don't want soggy sandwiches (I used the thin syrup on yoghurt for breakfast- YUM!)

Layer up your toasties
balsamic blueberry grilled cheese recipe layers

When the kale chips are done let them cool so they crisp up

Now, a word on pan-frying sandwiches. What can happen is that the bread browns before the cheese melts, to avoid this you can pop a lid on the frypan while cooking or my little trick is to warm the sandwich up briefly first to start melting the cheese- 20 seconds in the microwave does the trick nicely.

The kale chips were salty, crunchy and light (and healthy!). A bit like toasted seaweed but lighter in flavour. I've made them since to have with a pre-dinner glass of wine.

Look at that ooze

It is a bit like a really delicious cheese platter with homemade fruit paste. But toasted.
Grilled cheese rating: 4.75/5

I felt like something fun and fruity so rosé is a natural go-to. Plus, there is a reasonable amount of natural sweetness from the blueberries and balsamic so a bit of sweetness is needed in the wine otherwise it will taste bitter. Lock & Key is a stunningly affordable range (under $20) from Moppity Vineyards. The 2013 rosé is made from nebbiolo (possibly my favourite grape variety). A pretty watermelon pink, it has aromas of perfect summer strawberries, watermelon and rose petals.  On the palate it may have a touch of residual sugar (it tastes a little like it but I can't find it mentioned anywhere) with bursts of raspberry candy, strawberry and pink grapefruit but with a crisp, clean finish. The winery has a really good website with a huge list of stockists so this should be easy to get your hands on 

1 comment:

  1. Oh yum, the combination of flavours in this must be incredible.


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