Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Simple, but Sophisticated - Grilled Fontina, Mushroom and Sage Sandwiches

We just returned from our weekend in the mountains at CampBlogAway, touted as the Premier Boot Camp for Food Bloggers.  Although we did meet some fantastic people...

and came home with a few tidbits of useful information, we were hoping for more in-depth coverage of relevant food blogging topics, i.e., food writing, photography and styling, and information on creating and maintaining a successful blog. Instead, in my opinion, valuable time was lost with Wilton's 101 cookie decorating exercise, an onion-cutting demonstration, sponsor skits, camp songs, etc., and mostly superficial coverage of information I've already learned during my short time in the blogging world.

We did escape from our bunkroom in the co-ed cabin early one morning for a hike to the lake and some nature photography...

Tonight, I decided it was time to put my camp experience to rest, back in those awful bunk beds, and "grow up" with Food & Wine's simple, but sophisticated version of Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, prepared with fresh and crusty bread, nutty and smooth-melting Fontina cheese, and a layer of sage-accented sautéed mushrooms.

Grilled Fontina, Mushroom and Sage Sandwiches
Adapted from Food & Wine
Serves 4


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound Crimini mushrooms, cut into thin slices
1/2 oz. dried Porcini mushrooms (reconstituted in a splash of white wine), optional
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
4 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
8 slices from a large round loaf of country-style bread, or other bread
1/2 pound Italian Fontina, grated (about 2 cups)


In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, the reconstituted mushrooms and wine (if using), salt, and pepper.  Saute, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in the fresh sage and saute another 30 seconds. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a bowl and wipe out the pan.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small glass dish in the microwave. With a pastry brush, coat one side of 4 slices of the bread with half of the melted butter and turn the slices over, buttered-side down, onto a work surface. Top the bread with the grated cheese and then the mushrooms.

Cover with the remaining 4 slices of bread and brush the tops with the remaining melted butter

Heat the frying pan over medium heat. Add the sandwiches and cook, turning once, until golden, about two minutes per side.

Food & Wine recommends a crisp, dry, Italian white.  We enjoyed Pinot Grigio.


Cookie said...

YUM! What a great flavor combo!

Cristina said...

It was nice to meet you two at the camp this last weekend. I appreciate your frankness of the camp's coverage of information. I took a great pic of you with your wine glass out on the deck. Check it out if you have some time.

R. said...

I'm glad to hear your honest review of the camp. I think some of these events are people who are in the upper echelon trying to make a living off holding blogging seminars... Kind of a snake eating it's own tale type of thing.

However, it looks beautiful up there and this sandwich looks fantastic. =)

bunkycooks said...

We met great some great folks, too! :) I think that is one of the best parts of camp...getting to know some other bloggers on a personal level and sharing info.

I love the grilled cheese with white wine. My kind of dinner! I also like your pics with the lavender (since I have one on my site, too!). It is beautiful and the concert series sounds like great fun.

Keep in touch!


Sippity Sup said...

Wow! I gotta say. This post kinda hurt my feelings. Blogging is blogging. That's all it is. The best part of blogging is the community attached. If you didn't find that at CampBlogaway, then you missed out. At one point I offered to walk with you back to camp and you said "NO" go search out the group. How do you think that made me feel? Then to read this, well it just makes me feel sad. If I could have found a private email address to post this on your site I would have. I don't expect you to post it but I had to say something. Because people worked hard on this weekend. Your opinion matters, of course, but it comes across as harsh... not helpful. GREG

Denise said...

Although you can send me a personal e-mail from my blog, and my personal e-mail is included in the CampBlogAway syllabus, I am publishing your comment. First of all, if you read my opinion about my CampBlogAway experience, the first thing I said was that we met some fantastic people. Secondly, I was not trying to hurt anybody’s feelings or come across as harsh; I was simply being honest. I completed the private survey and included constructive criticism that, hopefully, will be helpful in planning the next CampBlogAway. If given additional time, I do believe the panel could have provided more coverage and hands-on exercises that would have enhanced the program. I’m sorry, but I did not get anything out of an onion cutting demonstration or practicing basic icing decorating skills. Finally, you DID NOT offer to walk back to camp with us. You were briskly walking in the other direction and said you were trying to catch up to some other people. We responded by stating that we did not see the group when we were at the lake, but that there was still enough time left before breakfast if you were trying to make it to the lake and back. It was nice meeting you, and I wish you the best with your blog. Denise