say cheese: celebrating national dairy month
Today is a special day at JM headquarters for two reasons. One, it being June, it's STILL National Dairy Month, which is my favorite holiday after National Juliet's Birthday Month (July). Two, earlier this month I partnered with Finlandia Cheese to create a cheese-based recipe (twist my arm) and now I can finally share it!
The greatest compliment anyone has ever paid me was when a woman at Murray's Cheese looked at me admiringly and said: "So young, but yet you know so much about cheese." I think of myself as really a whole dairy connoisseur, actually, so trust me when I tell you I know my butter. And there is no butter other than Finlandia's Perfectly Salted that I will use for my grilled cheese. I melt a bunch in the pan before I put in the bread in, and then I swirl each bread piece in it BEFORE assembling my sandwich ingredients. Then, I add more butter before actually grilling my sammy. I do not believe in restraint when it comes to my dairy.
For today's sandwich, I paired Finlandia's Swiss with a perfectly ripe, white nectarine and some strong, spicy mustard on whole-wheat challah bread. I love how the saltiness of the cheese, the sweetness of the fruit and the pungent spread combine, especially when it's on an airy bread like a challah. Paired with a kale salad, it's an easy Meatless Monday meal that takes maybe 10 minutes to put together.
juliet's fruity grilled cheese
4 slices of bread of your choosing (I try to use whole wheat)
4 slices of Finlandia Swiss cheese
Finlandia Perfectly Salted butter
1 nectarine, thinly-sliced (you could also use an apple, peach or plum)
Mustard to taste
Preheat a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Melt a knob of butter in the pan, making sure not to let it burn.
Take each slice of bread and swirl it through the butter, making sure to coat both sides. Remove bread from pan.
Slather mustard on one side of bread, then add a slice of Swiss, and 4-5 slices of nectarine. Put one slice of cheese on the other piece of bread. Sandwich them together. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Melt another knob of butter in the pan and then place sandwich in the pan. Allow to cook for about 30 seconds and then use a grill press to smoosh the sandwich flat. When the bottom piece of bread is nicely browned (2-3 minutes), flip the sandwich over and continue cooking until cheese is melted.
To find where Finlandia is carried near you, check out the product locator page here. Their cheeses are hormone-free, which, as a breastfeeding mama, is pretty important. And yes, all the dairy actually comes from Finland, specifically from cows on family-owned farms. Happy cows = the best milk and dairy.
What are your favorite cheese recipes?