Monday, July 18, 2011

Secret Recipe Club: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Jarlsberg Cheese and Sauteed Mushrooms

I'd been meaning to blog about grilled cheese for some time, but I'd never got around to it. The grilled cheese is an amazing sandwich, and according to The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches, first appeared in the 1930s - around the same time sliced bread made its debut.

Years earlier, in 1917, Kraft started selling canned cheese to the U.S. Army. They bought out Velveeta in the late 1920s. The individually-wrapped slices didn't appear until the mid-1960s - known as "square cheese," in our home. When Wonder's sliced bread hit the shelves, processed cheese quickly became the original filling for the grilled cheese sandwich.

So the original grilled cheese isn't something fancy - it's Wonderbread and Velveeta. Truth be told, I still think that processed cheese is a perfectly acceptable filling for grilled cheese. Jacob has graduated from plain sliced bread and now prefers his square cheese in between two slices of marble rye. I actually think it's quite good. On special occasions, I one-up it with this:

Jacob's double-decker barbecued-grilled cheese
sandwich with square cheese and marble rye.
I've also been meaning to visit a very special restaurant in Kensington Market for quite some time. The Grilled Cheese is dedicated to making (in what my opinion are) the best grilled cheese sandwiches I've ever tasted. The decor is very rustic, with wooden tables and benches and a wall full of preserved vegetables.

Jacob drinking his water with the wall of preserves
behind him.
I ordered the Blackjack that is served with Jalapeno Havarti, tomatoes, spinach and black olive pesto. The sandwich was served with a slice of pickles and potato chips. The bread was perfect - crunchy on the outside with a buttery flavour.

My Blackjack grilled cheese sandwich.

The Grilled Cheese on Urbanspoon

Secret Recipe Club

For the July edition of Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned Hoosier Homemade. Hoosier's grilled cheese really caught my eye. Sauteed mushrooms on Jarlsberg cheese all in between two slices of garlic-parmigiana French bread. That ain't no Velveeta on Wonderbread!

I definitely wanted to do a variation on it, but at the same time, too much variation is just another sandwich. I was sticking to the Jarlsberg cheese and mushrooms but I wanted to give a salute to Jacob's sandwich as well, so I'm sticking with the marble rye.

The final sandwich turned out great. The thinly-sliced bread turned out crispp on the outside and helped the sandwich heat up quickly. The thinly sliced mushrooms didn't release much water (could be because I used cremini mushrooms). The cheese wrapped around the mushrooms perfectly. I was very happy.

Unfortunately, I had run out of pickles during the weekend and forgot to buy more, so I had to serve the sandwich with a side of carrot sticks instead. It's just not the same :-(

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Jarlsberg Cheese and Sauteed Mushrooms
  • 1 + 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 4 slices marble rye
  • 4 slices Jarlsberg cheese
  1. Heat one tsp oil on medium-low and saute garlic for one minute. Add mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are soft and slightly browned.
  2. Assemble the sandwich using bread, cheese, mushroom mixture, cheese and bread. 
  3. In a larger pan, heat remaining two teaspoons of olive oil and fry sandwiches for 2-3 minutes on each side until lightly browned. 
Makes two sandwiches.

Recipes by the Haggis and the Herring: tasty world recipes tested in our kitchen
Try other tasty recipes


  1. What a fun post about grilled cheese. That's a favorite at our house too.

  2. I love this kind of cheese! What an awesome "grown up" grilled cheese!

  3. Love your more adult version of a childhood favorite.

    I'd love for you to check out my SRC recipe this month: Holy Guacamole.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  4. I love Jarlsburg. I made a grilled cheese with jam. Gotta try it with mushrooms now!

  5. That looks like one amazing sandwich!

  6. Jarlsberg makes the best grilled cheese! It looks delicious!

  7. What a great post!! That does look like a wonderful sandwich!

    Thank you for your kind words on my blog! Ya know, you could always cut that recipe in half in you want to try the brownies :) Plus, leftover brownies are NEVER difficult to give away

  8. Yum! I love a good grilled cheese and this one looks fabulous!

  9. What a wonderful sandwich! I'd like it just fine even without the side of pickles :) Great selection for the SRC~

  10. Dan this look yumm! I love grilled cheese is one of my favorites!! gloria

  11. Jarlsberg and mushrooms are my favorite toppings on a burger, but I have no idea why I hadn't thought to turn it into a grilled cheese! It sounds great.

  12. We love Liz's Jarlsberg grilled cheese creation, which she made as part of the "Celebrate Grilled Cheese Month--Jarlsberg Style" event on Kitchen PLAY. Check out the other five combinations, too.

    They all bring the humble grilled cheese sandwich to new heights!

    Casey Benedict
    on behalf of Jarlsberg USA

  13. Any form of grilled cheese sandwich is a winner in my book. Your marble rye sandwich looks yummy!

  14. I love a good grilled cheese and yours looks delicious! I'm going to give it a try using reduced-fat Jarlsberg cheese...

  15. Oh how much I love grilled cheese with mushrooms..
    So fun to be in the Secret Recipe Club with you. This looks amazing :)

  16. Sounds like a fantastic combo. I love rye bread but I've never used it on a grilled cheese. Bet it's great with the Jarlsberg!

    Glad to be part of SRC with you!

    Amy @ A Little Nosh


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