Review: Grilled Cheese by Marlena Spieler
Finally, after two months of Cooking Channel reviews and Next Food Network Star recaps I am back to reviewing a cookbook. This one specializes in something that is close to the heart of every kid from 4 to 94, grilled cheese sandwiches.
Marlena Spieler’s ode to the perfect rainy day lunch is entitled Grilled Cheese – 50 Recipes to Make you Melt and it is available through amazon. Spieler is no cookbook amateur as she has published over 50 cookbooks including another tribute to a popular comfort dish Macaroni And Cheese. She has also made numerous TV appearance mostly on BBC. Additionally she writes for Bon Appétit and Savuer as well as penning the internationally syndicated column “The Roving Feast.”
To some a book about grilled cheese sandwiches might seem silly. I mean who can’t put a Kraft single between two slices of Bunny bread? If that is your mindset I am truly puzzled as to why you are reading a foodie blog. The reality is there are hundreds of types of cheeses and breads and each combination has the potential to blow your mind. Think about the humble quesadilla – what is it if not a Mexican grilled cheese?
Spieler does a fabulous job of showing the versatility of the ultimate comfort food. Her imagination is inspiring with recipes like Austin Powers’ Sha-a-delic (a 70’s classic featuring ham and pineapple), the French variation Casse Croûte with bleu cheese and gruyére or the dessert-ish French Toast stuffed with strawberries and cream cheese. The author has even found a way to incorporate grilled cheese into a salad with her Open-faced Chévre Sandwiches – basically little goat cheesed topped crostini – that she adds to a salad of mixed greens topped with a walnut vinaigrette.
At this point I would be remiss if I did not mention the beautiful photography by Sheri Giblin. It is quite simply some of the best food porn I have seen in quite a while. In fact, everything about Grilled Cheese is an exploration of the extravagant side of this timeless sandwich.