Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Great Greek Grilled Cheese

I promise you this is no cop out recipe adding some silly piece of ethnic flair to a trendy snack. I could have just slapped some feta between two pieces of bread and called it a Greek Grilled Cheese. Not so much!

Greece actually does have a grilled cheese. It's called "tost" and I assure you it's by no means the pride and joy of the motherland. It's two pieces of white bread with a thin slice of ham and white cheese pressed together in a panini style grill. Not the poster child for Greek cuisine but the truth is everyone eats it: for breakfast, for a mid morning snack, and/or for a late night dinner. It's modern Greek fast food.

I wanted to create a pimped out version of Greece's grilled cheese so I used traditional tsoureki bread (aka Greek challah) pressed with quince(a wildly popular Fall Greek fruit) paste and kefalograviera cheese. I was inspired by my favorite breakfast in Greece and sweet memories of lounging in my Aunt Mary's flat: hunks of fresh tsoureki, slices of nutty-sharp kefalograviera cheese and spoonfuls of quince preserve. Why not combine this all into one glorious beast? I did and the combination was magic.

Greek Tost or Greek Grilled Cheese

Ingredients needed (no need for exact measurements; I think everyone knows how to make grilled cheese):

Sliced tsoureki bread (recipe here or use Challah bread)
Sliced Kefalograviera (if can't find, use Manchego cheese)
Quince paste or preserve
Olive oil/butter

Brush panini press with olive oil and heat as directed. Meanwhile assemble sandwiches layering cheese and quince preserve. Once panini is hot press assembled sandwich for a few minutes until golden brown and cheese is melted. Slice and serve.


Peter M said...

I'm really diggin' the photo of the "tost" that's been cut in to reveal the gooey cheeze!

Helen said...

Oh kill me now! This is absolute gorgeousness! Love everything about this sandwich. Great addition with the quince jam. I'm making this asap!

Esi said...

I'm a big fan of grilled cheese of any kind. Love your Greek version

Dewi said...

Gorgeous and the most delicious looking grilled cheese I've seen.

Michael said...

I live on Paros and tost is one of the few menu items that remains affordable. (Even gyros pita are well over 2 Euro now!)
I would love to teach my coffee shop to make your version. But it would take a trip to the bank to pay for it, I'm sure.


Gastronomer said...

Sweet, savory, toasty, and oozy cheese?! YES PLEASE. A beautiful and delicious creation, Anna.

Diana said...

Campanile needs to add this puppy to their Grilled Cheese Night menu - yum!

JustinM said...

I am working late and probably getting fast food on my way home. I would pay $50 for this sandwich to be waiting at home for me tonight.

Banana Wonder said...

Peter - hah thanks, tost just got goey :)

Helen - Let me now how it goes! Oposdipote to tost terazai me krasi :)

Esi - Thanks, I kinda want to make another Greek version... feta, this time!

Elra - Ah, really? Wow thanks.

Paros - You made me blush! I would love to see what the Greek market would think of this, I for one, as a Greek-American enjoyed this as well as my American non-Greek friends (and maybe charge a little more than regular tost?).

Cathy - Thanks from one sweet-savory sucker to another :)

Diana - hah oh TALF, you tell em!

Justin - Lol, you make me blush. I would easily make this for way less! You'd just have to come up North...

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

If I could swear right now I would! I'm in awe. I love all those ingredients separately but adding them together like this is pure genius. Anna, I love it!

elly said...

Mmm, looks beyond delicious, Anna!

Banana Wonder said...

Peter - Thanks, now if I could just find more kidoni around these parts.

Elly - Thanks :)

Maria said...

I truly love this too ... it looks amazing! Everything about it is great.

Banana Wonder said...

Maria - Thanks :) I'd like to think all Greek could appreciate this tost! hehe

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