Foodies are always on the lookout for a different, yet easy appetizer to serve over the holidays. This is a variation on grilled cheese sandwiches that would be perfect with some olives and various pickles snacks on the side to provide a little acidity to balance the cheese and the bread. And don’t forget the Dijon mustard.
The idea comes from “The New Gas Grill Gourmet” (The Harvard Common Press, $16.95) by A. Cort Sinnes, who writes, “These bite-size, skewered grilled cheese sandwiches are simple but satisfying. If you feel like taking the recipe a step further, you can insert small slices of smoked ham or prosciutto between the slices of bread and cheese for a variation on the French specialty croque monsieur.”
Grilled Cheese on a Skewer
1 large loaf coarse-textured French or Italian bread
About 1/2 pound Gruyère, Jarlsburg, Emmenthaler or Monterey Jack cheese
6 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes and drained
About 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the grill with all the burners on high for 10 minutes and the lid down.
While the grill is preheating, prepare the bread and cheese. Remove the crust from the loaf of bread, cut the bread into 3/4-inch thick slices, and then cut each slice into pieces about 2 inches square. Cut the cheese into slices that are 1/4-inch thick and about 2 inches square. Thread the bread and cheese squares onto the skewers: begin with bread, add cheese and bread in turn, and end with bread. Brush the skewered bread and cheese with the olive oil.
Once the grill is hot, turn off the center burner and turn the others to medium. Position the skewered bread and cheese over the center burner. Close the lid and grill the skewers, turning them several times, until the bread is lightly toasted on all sides and the cheese has melted, 8 to 10 minutes.
Transfer the skewers to your work surface and pull out each skewer. Place the loaves of grilled bread and cheese on a platter. Tear off individual slices and pass the Dijon mustard, please!
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
From “The New Gas Grill Gourmet” by A. Cort Sinnes