Ms. Clark’s recipe first calls for slicing and salting the cucumbers for two hours. While that was happening, I went ahead and made the brine for the pickles. In a saucepan, brown sugar, vinegar, coriander, peppercorns and allspice are brought to a boil and cooked until the sugar dissolves. After the pickles sat for two hours, I reheated the brine and poured it over the cucumbers. The cucumbers needed to be tossed every 10 minutes for 30 minutes. Some of the cook’s comments on the webpage for this recipe said they didn’t think there was enough brine; some tripled the brine. I used two 5-6-inch cucumbers for this recipe. I don’t know if they thought the pickles needed to be submerged more, but I found my pickles turned out wonderfully. They had a subtle sweetness that played nicely off the tart vinegar. A definite winner.
As I mentioned before, sometimes my husband finds me recipes that he thinks I would enjoy preparing. Such was the case recently when he found on the website “Bakers Royale,” by Naomi Robinson, Apple Chutney & Prosciutto Melt with Gruyere Cheese and Pears. This recipe takes grilled cheese to an adult level. For the recipe you’ll need a good crusty bread, mayonnaise, apple cranberry chutney, prosciutto and an Anjou pear. I chose to go with a sour dough bread for this sandwich.
To make, start by preheating a cast iron skillet. Next, spread mayonnaise on one side of a slice of bread. On the “inside” of one slice, spread the apple chutney. Place the mayonnaise side down in the pan then top with a slice of prosciutto, thinly sliced pear and Gruyere cheese. Top the remaining slice of bread with mayo and place it mayo side up on the sandwich. Cook until the bread is golden brown on both sides and the cheese has melted.
What a flavorful combination. The Anjou pear was tangy and has a dense texture which plays off nicely with the apple cranberry chutney with its herbs and spice while the Gruyere is rich and creamy. The first time I made the sandwich, I used my mandoline to make 1/4-inch slices. The second time, I grated the cheese which seemed to melt better. A decidedly adult grilled cheese sandwich. It’s a perfect weekend lunch or light supper. Pair with a cup of soup or salad add a glass of white wine and you have a perfect easy meal.
“Your Burger Will Thank You,” by Melissa Clark
The New York Times, “A Good Appetite” column
June 29, 2012
Time: About 50 minutes plus 2 hours’ refrigeration
Yield: about 1 quart
“For these pickles, I spiced up classic, sweet bread-and-butter slices with allspice and coriander. Generally, the smaller the cucumbers, the more crisp the pickles will be. I used very small Kirby cucumbers, and a month later mine still crunch with each bite.”
1 pound Kirby cucumbers
2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
3 large sprigs fresh dill
¼ cup light brown sugar
⅓ cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon allspice berries
I had to go to two food stores in order to locate whole coriander. You’ll also need whole allspice, however, I substituted 1:1 with ground allspice. You can purchase the spices on line at Penzeys.
Some of the cook’s comments on the webpage for this recipe said they didn’t there was enough brine liquid; some tripled the brine. I used two 5-6-inch cucumbers for this recipe.
Apple Chutney & Prosciutto Melt with Gruyere Cheese and Pears
From the website “Bakers Royale,”
April 4, 2016, Naomi Robinson
2 slices La Brea Bakery Tuscan Loaf*
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2-3 teaspoons apple cranberry chutney
1 ounce prosciutto (about 2 slices)
1 ounce Gruyere cheese
1 ounce Anjou pear (about 1/3 of medium-sized pear, thinly sliced)
Heat cast iron pan over medium heat. Spread a tablespoon of mayonnaise on one side of each piece of bread.
On the other side of one piece, spread apple chutney, then place mayonnaise side down onto heated pan, layer with prosciutto, pear slices and Gruyere cheese. Top with remaining slice of bread, mayonnaise side up.
Cook until bottom is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Flip sandwich and cook second side until golden brown, about another 4 minutes. Serve immediately.
*I used Orwasher Sour Dough bread purchased at Whole Foods.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.