Learn the Melt Chef’s Best Toast Tricks Why Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Are Better With Jarlsberg®

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As promised in my first post about the World of Jarlsberg®, throughout 2018, I will be talking to a handful of Oslo chefs who cook with the famous Norwegian cheese. My first stop was at St. Hanshaugen to visit the head chef and owner of restaurant Melt Grilled Cheese – Kim Asserson. The former Grace chef (a now-closed three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Chicago, USA) had agreed to teach me how to make a better toast. Now, you might be thinking: Making a grilled cheese sandwich – how hard could it be?  This misunderstanding could be the same reason why Asserson struggles to find more chefs to help him in the kitchen.

– Making toasts teaches you about simplicity in cooking, how less is more, and the importance of high quality produce. You learn to explore cool new combinations, and, here at Melt we actually make everything from scratch.

Check out the highlighted Instagram story Melt Grilled Cheese on the Instagram account @JarlsbergNorge to see my visit!

Melt Grilled Cheese at St. Hanshaugen in Oslo
Melt Grilled Cheese at St. Hanshaugen in Oslo

What Makes a Great Grilled Cheese Sandwich?

Kim taught me about the key elements that make a great grilled cheese sandwich. One of the most important components is, of course, the cheese.

– We use a lot of Jarlsberg® cheese because it has a great melting ability. The creamy consistency and characteristic sweet and nutty flavor match well with most other fillings.

Both moisture level, age, fat content and acidity in a cheese determines how well it melts. In a toast, you want to use cheeses which liquefy well and get stringy when melted. I’m not gonna go into the nitty-gritty details about this, but I can recommend this article if you want to learn more.

Inside the small kitchen of Melt, Asserson showed me some more trade secrets. For one, he brushes all his sourdough bread slices with melted browned butter on the outside for an added caramelized umami flavor. He also stressed how important it is to use the right amount of cheese. Not too much and not too little. While the cheese can help to bind all the other ingredients together, you don’t want it to take over completely

The talented chef shared a total of three toast recipes with me, which I have been allowed to publish. Check them out below!

Melt Grilled Cheese

Recipe (4 People): Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Pulled Duck & Ramson Mayo

This recipe is brand new and wasn’t even on the menu when I visited!

Make Pulled Duck:

10 confit duck legs
2 liters of sunflower oil
1kg coarse salt
Fresh parsley

Mix a handful of fresh parsley and coarse salt and cover the duck legs completely. Leave for 6-10 hours before you rinse off the salt mix. Place the legs in a cast iron pot and cover with oil. Cook in the oven at 120°C until the meat falls off the bone.

All elements done and ready to toast!
All elements done and ready to toast!

Make Ramson Mayonnaise:

1 whole egg
25g Dijon mustard
4g salt
20g lemon juice freshly squeezed
3 dl of sunflower oil
1 tablespoon cold water
Fresh ramson

If you don’t know how to make a mayonnaise, have no fear, Jamie Oliver can teach you how on his FoodTube.  Weigh your pulled duck mixture, and use half the amount of mayonnaise. Mix together.

Make Pickled Red Onions:

2 red onions
2 dl white wine vinegar
2 dl sugar

Cook the white wine vinegar and sugar until the latter dissolves. Leave to cool. Slice the onions and marinate in the vinegar overnight.

Make Two Big Grilled Cheese Sandwiches:

4 big slices of sourdough bread
100g browned butter
12 slices of Jarlsberg® cheese
Pulled duck in ramson mayonnaise
Pickled red onions

Gently brush the outside of the bread slices with browned butter. Place three slices of Jarlsberg® cheese on each sandwich base. Spread the desired amount of pulled duck on the base, sprinkle with pickled red onions, add three more slices of cheese and put the top lid on. Cook in a sandwich toaster or cast iron pan on medium temperature until the cheese is melted and the bread is crispy and golden. Enjoy!

Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Duck & Ramson
Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Duck & Ramson

Recipe (4 People): Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Korean Pork

This is a Melt classic which has been on the menu since day one.

Make Marinated Red Cabbage:

1 red cabbage
100g ginger
50-100g habanero
Fresh coriander
1 liter of water
1/2 liter of white wine vinegar
100g sugar
20g salt

Slice the red cabbage in thin strips. Peel the ginger and cut it into coarse pieces. Remove the stems from the habanero. Mix all ingredients apart from the cabbage in a blender. Marinate the cabbage in the mixture for 1-2 days.

Just the right amount of filling
Just the right amount of filling

Make Pulled Pork:

1kg whole pork neck
25g garlic
1/2 liter of soy sauce
120g ginger
50g cayenne pepper

Cover the pork neck with water in a big cast iron pot. Cook for 4-6 hours in the oven at 120°C until the meat falls off the bone. Mix the remaining ingredients in a blender and massage into the pulled pork.

Make Two Big Grilled Cheese Sandwiches:

4 big slices of sourdough bread
100g browned butter
12 slices of Jarlsberg® cheese
Red cabbage mix
Pulled pork mix
Fresh coriander

Gently brush the outside of the bread slices with browned butter. Place three slices of Jarlsberg® cheese on each sandwich base. Spread a decent amount of the marinated red cabbage and pulled pork on the toast. Finally, decorate with fresh coriander, and add three more slices of cheese, before you put the top lid on. Cook in a sandwich toaster or cast iron pan on medium temperature until the cheese is melted and the bread is crispy and golden. Enjoy!

This is how you eat toast

Recipe (4 People): Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Egg & Bacon

Here’s the perfect breakfast toast, especially for the weekends.

Make an Egg & Bacon Cream:

10 eggs
1 dl whole milk
9g salt
1/2 handful of finely sliced onion
300 g bacon cut in small squares
150 g caramelized onions

Whisk together the egg, milk, and salt and cook over a water bath until it thickens. Use a stab mixer to turn it into an egg cream. Fry the bacon until crispy and mix into the egg cream together with the raw and caramelized onions. Leave to cool.

The perfect breakfast toast?
The perfect breakfast toast?

Make Two Big Grilled Cheese Sandwiches:

4 big slices of sourdough bread
100g browned butter
12 slices of Jarlsberg® cheese
Eggs & Bacon cream

Gently brush the outside of the bread slices with browned butter. Place three slices of Jarlsberg® cheese on each sandwich base. Spread the desired amount of egg & bacon cream on the base, add three more slices of cheese, and put the top lid on. Cook in a sandwich toaster or cast iron pan on medium temperature until the cheese is melted and the bread is crispy and golden. Enjoy!

Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Egg & Bacon
Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Egg & Bacon

Cheesy Sauce & Salty Chocolate Milk

Head on over to Melt Grilled Cheese either at St. Hanshaugen, in Østbanehallen, and soon on Torggata, to get the ultimate toast menu with fries on the side and cheesy bechamel sauce all over! A pro tip is to order the salty chocolate milk to wash down this sinful meal. So simple and extremely satisfying!

No caption needed
No caption needed
Korean Pork sandwich with fries and cheesy sauce
Korean Pork sandwich with fries and cheesy sauce
#CheeseForDays
#CheeseForDays
Mmm, salty chocolate milk
Mmm, salty chocolate milk

Did you attempt to make one of Melt’s recipes? Leave a comment below to let me know the result!

Disclaimer

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Anders Husa

I am Anders Husa – a foodie living in Oslo. I eat at the best restaurants in Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and the major food destinations in the world. I share my foodie stories here.

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