grilled cheese sandwich

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 SpielerMarlena 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?

Grilled Cheese - 50 Recipes to Make you MeltSpieler 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.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up


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