When the weather gets cooler, there's nothing quite like the comfort of a warm, buttery grilled cheese. Vanessa Palazio and Adam Schneider are the soon-to-be married couple behind Little Muenster, a New York City grilled cheese shop specializing in adult versions of the classic comfort food, and they're here to show us just how extreme — and extremely delicious — grilled cheese can be.
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Ereka challenges the almost-newlyweds to come up with "his" and "hers" takes on grilled cheese. First up is Vanessa's: a gooey blend of herbed goat cheese, Muenster, and heirloom tomatoes on hearty bread. But the cheesy goodness doesn't end there — Vanessa adds a surprising ingredient to make her sandwich extra cheesy: Parmesan on the outside of the sandwich. "You think outside of the box when you put cheese on the outside of your grilled cheese," she says of the crispy Parmesan crust.
Adam's version featured pork belly, Gouda, and caramelized onions. Adam fries the pork belly first to take his sandwich to another level. "We have this fatty bacon and this creamy cheese, and we need something tart to cut through them," he says, "that's why we have these pickled, caramelized onions."
So who wins the grilled cheese challenge? It looks like Vanessa's three-cheese work of art is the winner. "They're both delicious, but I'm on the soon-to-be bride's side," Ereka says. "I loved the goat cheese sandwich."
Bread of your choice
Herbed goat cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese
Sliced heirloom tomatoes
Room temperature unsalted butter.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Butter one side of each slice of bread. On one slice, spread herbed goat cheese until slice is totally covered. On the other slice, layer 2-3 slices of Muenster cheese. Place a layer of tomatoes over the goat cheese spread, and close sandwich. On one of the buttered sides, press a small handful of Parmesan into the butter and place in pan, Parmesan-side down, and cook for 2 minutes, weighing down with a plate if necessary. Before flipping, coat the remaining buttered side with Parmesan. Flip, cook for 2 more minutes, remove from heat and enjoy.
Bread of your choice
Sliced Gouda cheese
Sliced or shaved pork belly (or bacon)
Pickled caramelized onions
Room temperature unsalted butter
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place pork belly or bacon directly into skillet, and cook until slightly crispy around the edges. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place 2 slices of Gouda cheese on each side of the bread. When the pork is ready, place over cheese on one side. Layer caramelized onions and combine. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side, weighing down with a plate if necessary.