Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rejected By Burp!: Curried Na'an Grilled Cheese

First off, thanks to everyone who voted for us in the Marx Foods Blogger Recipe Challenge: Morel Edition! Victory is sweet... but not nearly as sweet as our readers and supporters!

Our Morel & Leek Strata with Lemon Thyme Biscuits was a real winner. But, not every recipe that comes from the kitchens of Burp! fares quite as well. Sometimes we hit on a bummer. This is one of those occasions.

It all started when we gathered in the kitchen to come up with an entry for Panini Kathy's Grilled Cheese Pageant (great round-up, btw -- check it out!). Simple, right? Yeah... well...

From the start, I want to be clear that it wasn't so much that this recipe concept TASTED bad. No, on the contrary, it was a delicious combination of flavors. But the concept was lacking in... how shall we say?... elegance... due primarily to a bit of... seepage.

The idea behind the sammich was simple. Let's take classic flavors from Indian cuisine (namely curry, na'an, onion relish, and hot mango chutney) and combine them with a decidedly French flavor (St. Andre cheese) to create the ULTIMATE grilled cheese experience.

First -- the onion chutney (which really IS a great idea).
First, you take one thinly sliced red onion... and add a spritz of lemon juice.
Sprinkle with a bit of paprika, some cumin, and a dash of cayenne pepper.
And allow to steep for at least an hour at room temperature... at which point, you should taste it. It kicks serious butt. Pair this with all your favorite foods (and Indian dishes). You won't be disappointed.
Once your onion relish is ready, you can haul out the na'an. We cheated a bit and chose the curry flavored na'an from Trader Joe's (it was a week night, after all). Which is pretty good... but feel free to make your own.
Then, you'll want to slice up a bit of St. Andre triple cream. Truly decadent cheese... and completely worth the extra calories. I promise you.
Spread your na'an with a bit of hot mango chutney and top with the St. Andre. Get your hopes up... waaaay up... all out of proportion.
Then add a generous portion of the onion relish. Take a big whiff of everything altogether. It's heavenly. Remember, you have HIGH HOPES for this sammich.
You set it gently in the panini press... and put the cover down.
And that's when tragedy strikes. You never really thought about the fact that the St. Andre is a fairly delicate cheese. Or about the fact that it's a triple cream -- so it's heavy on the side of FAT. AND you've now exposed it to a great deal of unnecessary heat.... VOILA!
The cheese in this sammich drools out. It seeps like a bad dam. The heat of the panini press was too much for it, and it made what could have been an otherwise lovely grilled cheese into a ... grilled oil sammich with mango chutney and yummy onion relish.

Sadness ensues.
After sufficient mourning time, we pick ourselves back up again and proceed into the kitchen. Surely this grilled cheese sammich concept can be saved... and so, we begin again. Which is what Burp! is all about.

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29 comments:

  1. Kudos for the effort, and very creative sandwich idea!! When I read the ingredients, my mouth watered. I just love Indian food and a panini with those classic flavors sounds excellent to me.

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  2. Oh, no! It sounded like such a delicious idea! All the ingredients should have been delicious together! Too bad about the texture of St. Andre :(

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  3. awww! it was a very CREATIVE dish, but i'm sorry that it didn't turn out! did you end up re-doing it in the kitchen?

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  4. Oh, I bet it still tasted amazing.

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  5. Many congrats on the morel victory!! It was a fantastic recipe, way to go!

    Well, at least the curried naan grilled cheese was a great, creative concept. You've got to give it a second try with another cheese - it's such a good idea.

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  6. Bummer about the seepage. I got really excited when I saw the title of your post because it sounded like the best thing ever...glad you're going to try again! And congrats on your win!

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  7. Congrats on the morel win! I must admit, one of my favorite things about panini grilled cheese sandwiches is the seeping cheese that gets all crispy on the grill. Does that make me weird? Oh, and the onion relish sounds fantastic!

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  8. I'd be spooning the melted triple off the grill! The idea was good though.

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  9. Well you win some, and lose some, but the flavor combination does sound divine! Too bad about the seepage! :)

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  10. OK, so maybe you didn't find it picture perfect, but really it doesn't look so bad. It actually still looks great! You've enticed us with the fusion flavors.

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  11. Making my mouth water. Love those onions.

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  12. Being kind of a traditionalist, my favorite ever is grilled cheese with tomato on rye. Cheddar is best for standing up to strong flavors, IMHO. try your combo again with cheddar, which won't melt as fast, and I'll bet you'll be delighted!

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  13. It's sad because it looks so good.

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  14. What a shame because it looks lovely. :(

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  15. That chutney is wonderful! And what a creative sandwich!!

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  16. This sounds like it would be delicious! And so creative. Wow. I'm going to have to try this.

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  17. I love the nan at Trader Joe's! Looks yummy!

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  18. Now that is just completely heavenly. Truly.

    Hey, congrats on a much-deserved win! Kudos and all that.

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  19. I'm always too shy to post my failures. Still, your panino was a valiant effort and certainly had potential. Perhaps you should try again with a less melty-creamy cheese?

    Congrats on your win. It was well deserved. (I did have to give Claire some kudos on her blog though as I thought her macarons were rather clever.)

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  20. Oh, gosh -- Claire deserves big kudos for the macarons. Actually, I thought a number of the morel recipes were pretty awesome!

    We'll definitely be trying this panino again with a different cheese. I haven't settled in on exactly what kind yet -- but definitely something less melty. The oily-ooze factor on the St. Andre was just too gross. :)

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  21. Maybe less of the wet ingredients the next time.Don't give up yet :)

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  22. MMMMMMM....love it!! Yummie!!!

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  23. Well you certainly score points with me for outstanding flavor combo! I bet this would taste awesome side by side instead of assembled. I'll have to seek out that cheese; I've never had it. Looking forward to what you come up with next!

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  24. Naan pannis are a good idea!

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  25. It has such promise! It sounds beautiful.....

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  26. oh my. who cares how it looks--with those flavors, methinks you can't go wrong. how about just a non-grilled curried naan cheese sandwich? bet that would taste spectacular!

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  27. First of all: congrats!
    This sounds like a great idea, I'm sure you'll get great results once you revisit it.

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We're thrilled that you came to visit us here at BURP! Thanks so much for taking the time to write. We're not always able to respond to every comment, but we'll make every effort to answer questions in a timely fashion. We especially enjoy reading about what's going on in your own creative kitchens. So, don't be shy!

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