A few years ago I packed up my bags and headed to the midwest to judge Wisconsin’s Grilled Cheese Academy’s Recipe Showdown. Not only was it like THE BEST TRIP EVER because I got to taste about a billion different ooey gooey creations, but I also got to get a taste of what cheese country was all about. I met prolific cheese makers, heard their stories, learned about cheese making, and most importantly, ATE ALL THE CHEESE!
It was there that I met my cheesy girl crush, Marieke Penterman, who moved from the Netherlands to Wisconsin to craft her authentic gouda cheese right here in America. It’s mildly salty, just a tad sweet, perfectly nutty, and melts like a dream. Her Dutch gouda is basically a match made in heaven for grilled cheese lovers.
Speaking of grilled cheese lovers, has anyone entered the Grilled Cheese Academy’s 2017 Recipe Showdown? To tell you the truth, I’m kind of obsessed with the idea that one of my readers will win the contest. I mean, how sweet would it be to win $15,000 for a grilled cheese recipe? Sounds pretty perfect to me. And from all of the super creative concoctions that y’all tag me in on instagram, there’s no doubt in my mind that one of you (or all of you!) could take home some serious cash money.
So, I’m going to go ahead and challenge you to enter their contest [HERE!]. Make the tastiest grilled cheese you can think of before May 13th. Don’t forget to be sure that it’s crunchy, crispy, ooey, gooey, flavorful, creative and pretty. I know you guys got this. And if need some inspiration, scroll through my grilled cheese board on pinterest and load up on some queso-rific ideas.
If I could enter, I’d submit this out of the box Pretzel Grilled Cheese with Marieke gouda, Honey Baked Ham, Caramelized Onions and Bavarian Mustard. It’s creamy, luscious, and rich from Marieke’s gouda, the honey baked ham gives it a boost of umami awesomeness, the caramelized onions lend a deep earthy sweet note. The Bavarian mustard adds texture and tang while the inside-out crisped-up pretzel adds a layer of creativity. And if you’ve got questions – I’ve got answers! Feel free to hit me up on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and I can even give you some pointers on styling and photography, too. Basically I GOT YOU and I’m rooting for you!
So take this recipe as your first bit of inspiration and start experimenting! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Recipe: Bavarian Pretzel Grilled Cheese with Marieke Gouda, Sweet Ham, Caramelized Onions and Mustard
- 1 Pretzel
- 1/2 cup Wisconsin’s Marieke Gouda
- 3 slices Honey Glazed Ham
- 1 tbsp Bavarian Mustard
- 2 tbsp Caramelized Onions
- 2 pats salted butter
- Begin by carefully slicing pretzel in half. Spread mustard onto the bottom half of the pretzel’s interior. Arrange half of the Wisconsin gouda along the pretzels border. Add ham on top, making sure to cover all parts of the pretzel. Then add caramelized onions and the remaining cheese in the shape of the pretzel and place the top half of the pretzel upside down, so that the interior faces outward.
- Now add half the butter to a heated panini press or cast iron skillet and cook on medium-high. Brush the top of the pretzel with melted butter and cook until both sides are crispy and golden brown and all the cheese has melted. If cheese starts to ooze out all over the place, don’t be alarmed – we want this! The gouda will crisp up into a delicious crunchy cheese crust, making this sandwich totally irresistible.
And you better not disappoint me! Jk, jk. But seriously, I want you guys to win!!! I can’t wait to see what you dream up! Also, be on the lookout for some awesome contests that I’m running on Facebook with Wisconsin Cheese! You could win some excellent grilled cheese prizes!!