A Hot Sandwich For A Cold Night

13 11 2008

Those of you who have been paying attention the last couple of weeks have probably noticed a proliferation of meals involving Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese.  Normally, I would use La Fête du Fromage as an excuse to try something funky and new (although who needs an excuse, really?), but this time I’m going to wax rhapsodic about my favorite cheddar cheese.

Started in 1909 as a dairy farmers’ cooperative to ensure the continuing high quality of cheese produced in the region, the Tillamook County (Oregon) Creamery Association now includes over 100 dairy farmers and produces a gamut of dairy products from cheese to ice cream.  Pretty much everything you could want to know about them can be found on their website.  (And no, I am not a member of the fan club.)

The cheese itself, in case you are unfamiliar, has a firm, bordering on crumbly texture.  It melts like a dream, and has a distinct tang to its robust, smooth cheddar flavor.  It’s great for snacking as well as cooking.  I’ve already made chili and macaroni and cheese with it, but this time I wanted a sandwich.

Nearly there

Specifically, a tuna melt.  Using my standard tuna salad recipe (red onions, celery, and mayonnaise – no pickles) and some tasty bread from Du Pain et des Idées, I built a solid base for the thick slices of Tillamook.  Into the pan the sandwiches went, with a thin smear of butter on the outsides of the bread.

Cooking the tuna melts

And out they came, gooey and delicious as ever.  Nick took about a million pictures of the beautiful cheese oozing out the side of the crispy, toasty sandwiches.  And then we sat down to eat them while watching the Daily Show.  It was a good night.

Personally, I think this borders on obscene.

Don’t forget to stop by Chez Louloufor the Fête du Fromage roundup on the 15th!

Originally published on Croque-Camille.

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14 responses

14 11 2008
Hopie

Sounds like the perfect thing to do on a November evening!

14 11 2008
jodycakes

There is nothing like a “melt” on a cool night…I’ve never actually had a tuna melt, if you can believe it. Not that I don’t think I’d like it…it’s just that I never felt tuna salad should be hot…Bleck. Hot. Tuna.
Would love to know how you do a Nicoise…or perhaps you’ve done one already since I’ve been following your posts?!? Old timer’s over here…sheesh. Must be new married life…Hee hee hee.
Oh, by the way, we gave a mention to you on our radio show the other day. I thought it was hilarious what you said about yourself and Nick doing the 8 planes in 4 days thing!!! :) :) :) Thanks for being involved with us!!!!
You’re a lot of fun! :)

14 11 2008
Kristy Nuttall

OMG I LOVE tuna melts. I haven’t made one in SO very long. I might have to do that for lunch today now. My mouth is watering just thinking about it and we always have Tillamook on hand.

15 11 2008
Loulou

This looks amazing!
I’d have to leave out the tuna though…don’t like it. How about a grilled cheese instead? :)
Thanks for joining in La Fête du Fromage!

15 11 2008
Nathalie (Spacedlaw)

I would not have thought about such combination but it looks (and sounds) great.
(In via Loulou’s)

16 11 2008
Georgie

If you have a chance, try the Tillamook white extrasharp cheddar. It is wonderful!

16 11 2008
Ivy

I never had a tuna melt either but it sounds so good with the cheddar oozing out, I’d definitely like to try this.
(In via Loulou’s)

16 11 2008
croquecamille

Hopie – It was. :)

Jody – It has to have the onions in there, or it’s a no-go for me, too. Merci beaucoup for the radio mention!

Kristy – Glad to hear it!

Loulou – Of course, grilled cheese is always an option. :) Especially if you have some good tomato soup to go with it…

Nathalie – I urge you to give it a try sometime!

Georgie – I have, and I love it!

Ivy – You should. Thanks for stopping by!

17 11 2008
Jessica

That looks delicious. Whenever I need a comforting meal, you can pretty much guarantee that it’s going to include cheese. Delicious.

17 11 2008
Lissa

That looks amazing. As usual. Between the mac n cheese and the tuna melts you are giving me ideas of how to buck this whole French thing and create a little America in my dining room. Anyways, just wanted to say hello and let you know that the RSVP for book signing has been made. Drop me a note and I’ll give you the details, when you have the time!

17 11 2008
Sam

melted cheese is always good!

17 11 2008
croquecamille

Jessica – I think melted cheese is the security blanket of the food world.

Lissa – Hey, sometimes you just need a taste of home, you know?

Sam – I couldn’t agree more!

20 11 2008
Kimberlee

Yes but did you buy the Tillamook in France???? where pray tell?

20 11 2008
croquecamille

Kimberlee – Sorry, but no. It was hand-delivered by my loving husband after his last trip stateside.




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