Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Cheese Sandwich Chronicles #1
Pointless Cheese Sandwich Meanderings?

(Note to regular readers or those seeking South Beach Diet recipes: I'll be having a bit of cheese sandwich fun for three days. Thanks for your support. I'm hoping people who have been reading about the Cheese Sandwich Controversy of 2006 will catch the jokes, but if you haven't read the article by Pete Wells you may need to read it to understand this.)

With the way cheese sandwiches have become *The Food* to talk about in the food blog world, I've been forced to take a risk and attempt making a few cheese sandwiches. It's not something that comes easy to me, after all, this is a low carb blog, and most cheese sandwiches are not that low in carbs. But if I'm going to escape being labeled just another boring *foie gras on toast points* blog, as some food blogs have been called, I know I have to expand my horizons. I'll be attempting a series of cheese sandwiches, and making an honest effort to evaluate them to determine whether one of them should qualify as a hot scoop, using the cheese sandwich criteria established by Pete Wells. Mr. Wells has become the foremost authority on cheese sandwiches in the food-writing world, and bloggers everywhere are grateful to him for pointing out the criteria by which a good cheese sandwich can be judged so all those who enjoy cheese sandwiches will be proud to write passionately about them.

My first sandwich was a Pan Grilled Danish Havarti on Locally Grown Asiago Cheese Artisan Boule bread. I prepared it with my stove top grill pan (aka Panini Maker minus $100), purchased from Sur La Sears, a store that sells fine cooking utensils in the U.S. The sandwich ingredients are Danish Havarti, (from Costceau, my favorite purveyor of fine cheeses) Asiago Cheese Artisan Boule bread from Salt Lake's Stone Ground Bakery, (also from Costceau, which sells fine breads as well as fine cheeses), and butter. (Unfortunately I was fresh out of unsalted butter, but I'll certainly make an effort to get it next time.)

To prepare, let butter soften at room temperature for 30 minutes. Cut two slices of bread and spread butter on outside of each slice. Be sure to spread the butter with a sense of purpose and don't engage in any pointless cheese sandwich meanderings while doing it. Slice cheese (preferably with a fine cheese knife) not quite 1/2 inch thick and place between slices of bread. Heat grill pan about 1 minute, then grill sandwich on each side about 5 minutes, rotating once halfway through if you want criss-cross grill marks. Serve with a glass of finely aged Diet Coke with Lime, or if you prefer, another drink of your choice.

(Note: Some may feel that the Asiago Cheese bread will make this sand wich a bit too cheesy, but I am happy to report that the two cheeses compliment each other rather nicely. This sandwich could be enjoyed for lunch or dinner, but eating your cheese sandwich is not going to qualify as a hot scoop for most of your friends, so use caution in interjecting that information into conversation unless you know that the person with whom you are speaking is in fact, a bona fide foodie who likes to hear about such things, i.e., someone who reads food blogs.)

Now, self evaluation is so important for bloggers, in order to avoid having your blog lack purpose, so how successful was my sandwich, using the cheese sandwich criteria Pete Wells has set forth?

1. The sandwich must communicate passion and make the person reading about the sandwich feel passion as well.

I can honestly say I felt passionately involved in making this sandwich, and indeed felt a rush of pleasure as I was cooking it. The bread was browning so nicely and the cheese was melting so perfectly, and it looked like it was going to taste amazing, which it did. I was eagerly looking forward to eating it! I urge you to make one yourself and try it.

2. Something must be at stake in the making of this sandwich.

Since making a good cheese sandwich seems to have become the measure by which a great food blogger is distinguished from the rest of the boring *foie gras on toast points* blogs, I feel my reputation as a food blogger is at stake in mastering the making of cheese sandwiches.

3. The sandwich should be timely, keeping current with what's new.
Making cheese sandwiches is certainly very current on the food blogs, and I'm making every effort to stay up on all that's new about cheese sandwiches.

4. The sandwich needs a sense of purpose.

Since the purpose of this sandwich is obviously to prove that even a low carb blog can produce a good cheese sandwich, avoiding any temptation to wander into pointless cheese sandwich meanderings, I feel I have achieved my purpose.

Tune in tomorrow for The Cheese Sandwich Chronicles #2.

P.S. Every movement needs a great t-shirt. Kitchenmage is ready for this one.

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More to Chew On:


  1. You crack me up, Kalyn! I love your self-evaluation. Funny, funny, and oh-so-purposeful.

  2. You are tooo funny! And the evaluation.. no I just sound like Jennifer here above so I better say: I agree totally with
    Jennifer and stop writing!

  3. Sur la Sears? Costceau? Ooo-la-la! It's great to see Kalyn's Kreative Kuisine take charge!

  4. And there we have the first volley of the cheese log! Have at ye, ye foie gras & pugnacious sea slugs loving all's-Well-that-self-swells!

    Sorry I have not been able to respond as much in the last few days. Been a little out of it due to an injury. But worry not. I have my cheese log and keyboard at ready. The article is written. The cheese sammich will bubble forth tomorrow!

  5. Just thought you'd like this one on the cheese sandwiches on my 'Recipes' page. Honestly I absolutely ADORE cheese and bread = cheese sandwiches!
    Funny article. Well done :)

  6. A great self-evaluation indeed, Kalyn! Thanks for making me smile after a long day at work:)

  7. Brilliant!

    After slaving over a gluten-free "artisan" style bread this very afternoon, I am preparing to approach the making of The Cheese Sandwich du Jour with passion, gusto, and all the wheat-free verbiage and poetry I, too, can muster.

    Carry on! ;-)

  8. what a great first post Kalyn! Here is my contribution..a day early. I just couldn't wait! :o)

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. Alicat, sorry, but links like that in the comments screw up this template in Internet Explorer (use Firefox, everyone!) So I have to delete them. Everyone go to Something So Clever and see what Ali wrote. Great Job, Ali!

  11. Another take on the Pete Wells piece on my blog, which is mostly about mythology but also food-- Breakfast with Pandora.

    I found the Wells piece independently and linked to you wondering if anyone else had read it!

    Thanks for what you do to keep food blogging one of the best things to happen to the Internet ever.


  12. Kalyn, it sounds like a really great sandwich. Except that we amateurs are supposed to even try critiquing food. So, um, sorry. But I suspect that if I were a professional writer for a food magazine, I'd be pretty impressed. So, a virtual thumbs up!

  13. Soooooo funny. You just made my night. What a fabulous post and a delicious looking sandwich. I love your humor. Some people are taking this too seriously and it's fun to just laugh at this point. (PW doesn't deserve our anger.) PS. I also find affordable kitchen equipment prices at Le Ross et Le Marshalls.

  14. Hey Kalyn, I finally posted. It's bloody long because I am on drugs and am prone to rambling and much cheesiness when stoned. If I don't have to hopalong as much tomorrow, I will post another cheese sammich. I promise this one will be waaaaaay shorter.

  15. Costceau indeed! How fun! I found that I can get a fairly good Havarti at my local Trader Joseph, Purveyor of Fine Foods. Looks like you enjoyed the sandwich and the passionate making thereof!

  16. Kaylin - this is my third attempt at leaving a comment. The first was fairly clever, the second less so and this time, I'll just say....

    Your post was hysterical. Mine not nearly so, but it is up.

    Thanks for sharing

  17. Hi Kalyn,

    Really enjoyed reading about your cheesy situation. Please check out my contribution...



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