Let’s talk about grilled cheese sandwiches. What comes to mind from our early days are those familiar treats made with white bread and American cheese …magically transformed into a melty gooey comfort food. Simply done with a pat of butter and a frying pan. Now let’s imagine a grown-up version that takes it all to the next earthy smoky level with portabella mushrooms and smoked gouda. Add some texture with the addition of fresh baby arugula and sliced tomato. Swap out that white bread with hearty rye. And you have a winner.
You may be able to purchase smoked gouda at your local deli counter and have them slice it for you. For this presentation, I used a block of cheese and sliced it at home. If you have a box style grater, use the side with the slicing surface. As always, be careful!
The sliced baby portabella mushrooms are quickly sautéed in a bit of olive oil along with some fresh thyme leaves. Once done, transfer them to the side and wipe out that pan. You can use it for finishing off the sandwiches.
Assembling the sandwiches is rather easy. We’ll be making two of them. Place about one-quarter of the sliced smoked gouda (1 ounce) on each of two slices of bread. Then divide the sauteed mushrooms evenly between the two. Now add the sliced tomato and baby arugula. Top that off with the rest of the smoked gouda and top them off with the remaining slices of rye.
Spread a teaspoon of softened butter on the top of each sandwich and carefully place them, buttered side down, in the preheated pan. Continue now by spreading the remaining butter on top of each.
Be careful to not have the heat set to high for these beauties …keep it at low-to-medium. It also helps to cover the pan while grilling to promote maximum melting of the cheese. For the best reviews, serve these guys immediately while they are all warm and gooey.
smoked gouda grilled cheese sandwiches
Turn your next grilled cheese sandwich into a rustic upgraded treat.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/4 cups sliced baby portabella mushrooms (about 3 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 4 slices hearty rye bread
- 4 ounces smoked gouda cheese, sliced
- 1 plum tomato, thinly sliced
- handful of fresh baby arugula
- 4 teaspoons butter, at room temperature
In a large skillet, sauté mushrooms and fresh thyme leaves in the olive oil until golden and tender. Set aside.
Place two slices of rye bread on work surface. Add 1 ounce of sliced gouda to each slice then top each with sliced tomato. Add a generous layer of baby arugula then divide the remaining sliced cheese between the two. Top each off with a slice of bread.
Heat a medium skillet over low-to-medium heat.
Spread a teaspoon of softened butter on the top of each sandwich and carefully place them, buttered side down, in the preheated skillet. Continue now by spreading the remaining butter on top of each.
Grill sandwiches for about 2 to 3 minutes per side or until cheese is melted. For best results, cover pan to promote even heating throughout. Serve immediately.