I had such a wonderful day today! I'm always running at full speed; working on a project, multi-tasking, running errands and going to meetings, but today I took the day off. A friend was passing through on the way from Pennsylvania to Indiana and decided to stop in for an impromptu playdate. Her oldest and my youngest are only a month apart. They had a blast playing together and my friend and I had a nice visit. When I walked her out to help her load up her kids at the end of our time together, I noticed what a perfectly gorgeous day it was. I decided to scrap the to-do list and head to the pool. I'm rarely alone with my youngest daughter and I've never taken her to the pool without my oldest...which means I have to hold her while I'm watching my oldest in "the big pool" like a hawk. Fun for the kids, but not exactly fun or relaxing for mama. With my oldest away visiting family this week, my little one and I had a great time splashing around and lounging in the baby pool. On the way home, one of my neighborhood friends called us up to her deck where some of my other neighbors had congregated. We caught up with one another while our kids played in the lawn. I hate to admit it, but this is the first day that I've actually taken the time to enjoy the summer. To stop and smell the roses, if you will. When the dinner hour rolled around, we peeled ourselves out of her patio furniture and I headed home to make this simple and delicious dinner. The perfect end to a perfect day.
I found the recipe in an old issue of Cooking Light and thought it looked like a such and delicious, quick and easy meal. I was right! I started by making the sauce. Just combine minced red onion, sour cream, Dijon mustard, and a little thyme.
Now divide the mixture evenly over 4 slices of bread. The recipe calls for sourdough, but I used light multi-grain.
Now for the cheese. I forgot how much I enjoyed Muenster back in my deli-girl days. This recipe reminded me of my forgotten friend. I used to thin-slice the ham that we glazed and baked in the deli where I worked in college, then put it on a fresh baked roll and top it with Muenster before sticking the open-faced creation under the broiler to heat up and melt the cheese. It was even better with a touch of whole grain or horseradish mustard. YUM! Oh yeah, I definitely dug the Muenster! It's is a smooth textured cheese with an orange rind and a white interior, with a flavor comparable to both white American cheese and sharp Jack cheese. The mild flavor and smooth, soft texture make it an excellent melting cheese for grilled sandwiches like this one.
I picked this cheese up on Sunday on one of my foodie field trips. I was driving up I-71 between Columbus and Cleveland and saw the signs for Grandpa's Cheese Barn. I decided to make a pit stop and let my toddler out of the van to stretch her legs after a few hours on the road. Grandpa's Cheese Barn was an experience! More than cheese, there were sauces, salsas, pickles, relishes, cider and more....but the cheese...oh the cheese! They have samples out of every variety. I felt as if I'd eaten my weight in cheese samples when I made the way back across their parking lot with my little package of Muenster in hand. If you're ever heading up I-71 in Ohio, you've gotta check this place out!
While the recipe only calls for one slice of Muenster, I put a slice down over the sauce, topped it with the smoked honey turkey, and then slapped on another slice of the Muenster. Oh look, there appears to be a little mouse in my kitchen...or someone took a bite out of this piece of cheese! Who me? Never. : )
Top the cheese with 2 slices of tomato...fresh from the garden would be best.
Top with bread, smear on some butter, and grill!
The perfect summer day deserves a perfect summer dessert. We chased our sandwiches with sundaes tonight! I have to give the credit to my husband here...this was his idea. I adore the combination of creamy vanilla ice cream, salty dry roasted peanuts, and chocolate syrup. It reminds me of the sundaes we made straight from the ice cream maker when I was growing up. YUM!
Grilled Tomato, Smoked Turkey, and Muenster Sandwichfrom Cooking Light July 2001 original recipe found HERE.
Yield: 2 sandwiches (serving size: 1 sandwich)
1 tablespoon minced red onion
3 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
4 teaspoons butter, softened
4 (1 1/2-ounce) slices sourdough bread
6 (1-ounce) slices fat-free, honey-roasted smoked turkey breast
4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices tomato
2 (1/2-ounce) slices Muenster cheese
Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Spread 1 teaspoon butter on one side of each bread slice. Spread 2 tablespoons mustard mixture over unbuttered side of each of 2 bread slices; top each with 3 turkey slices, 2 tomato slices, 1 cheese slice, and 1 bread slice (with buttered side out).
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the sandwiches; cover and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
CALORIES 451 (28% from fat); FAT 14.2g (sat 8g,mono 4.5g,poly 0.9g); IRON 2.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 65mg; CALCIUM 238mg; CARBOHYDRATE 48.7g; SODIUM 913mg; PROTEIN 27.9g; FIBER 1.8g
I hope you're all enjoying your summer to the fullest!