When I discovered Kiss Melons I was inspired to come up with something new to make with it. I’ve made melon salads and melon balls wrapped in prosciutto and I know that adding sweet and savory together can become something special. I decided to add Kiss Melon to a classic grilled cheese sandwich to create a new taste sensation. I’m going to ask you to trust me on this one. The first time I tasted this sandwich I instantly thought it was easily the best grilled cheese sandwich I have ever eaten. Melon in a grilled cheese sandwich is life changing. Kiss melon is a bit sweeter than a cantaloupe but you could easily swap in your favorite melon.
I love when I get the opportunity to learn about a new fruit or vegetable variety. I recently found purple peppers which are just like a red or green pepper but the most beautiful shade of purple. Little things make me happy. When Heinen’s asked me to feature kiss melons I wasn’t sure what they were. Happily, they were a delightful surprise. They look a bit like a cantaloupe. Depending on the part of the country they are grown sometimes they are orange and sometimes green.
I’m not a huge fan of cantaloupe. Sometimes it has a strong flavor that I just don’t care for. These Kiss melons are super sweet and refreshingly delicate. As I said this grilled cheese is in its own league. It includes cured chorizo, arugula, Manchego Cheese and Brick cheese. Kiss melon is the perfect sweetness to balance with the saltiness of the cured chorizo and the bitter pepperiness of the arugula. Trust me, don’t leave anything out! These ingredients work together in an amazing way.
I have to say the addition of Brick cheese was the recommendation of Dawn in the deli department at Heinen’s. She was so very helpful slicing the chorizo the perfect “thinness”. I told her I was making a grilled cheese and she said “brick” cheese was the perfect melting cheese for a grilled cheese. She told me it is called Brick cheese because in the old days they used to put a brick on top of the cheese to keep it in the brine. Fun Fact! The Manchego is a cheese I first tasted in Spain. It is a semi soft sheeps milk cheese.
The first rule of grilled cheese making is to either use the best bread or the worst bread. Nothing in between will work. Let me explain. If you can find a freshly made loaf of crusty white farm bread or sourdough, that’s always my first choice. If that’s not available then you’ll want a loaf of good old white bread – the kind most moms, including myself, will not regularly buy for their kids because generally it contains zero good nutrition. I purchased a loaf of Aunt Millie’s Giant White bread. Giant, because you’ll want the largest slice you can find. It was terrific.
My last secret of grilled cheese sandwiches may be the most important one… I use Hellmann’s Mayonnaise instead of butter on the outside to brown them. It makes the sandwich surprisingly LESS greasy and gives it a great taste and color. I will never make a grilled cheese sandwich with butter again.
So, as I said earlier I hope you will try this sandwich exactly as I have suggested. I know it’s tempting to compromise with different ingredients but if you do stick with me I think you’ll be very pleased. Please check back and let me know.
Kiss Melon Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
About 1 tablespoon Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
2 slices of your favorite, plain sandwich bread (large, but not thick slices)
4 oz Manchego cheese, sliced thin
4 oz brick cheese sliced
6 thin slices of cured chorizo
About 5 (1/4-inch thick) slices of Sugar Kiss Melon, cut to fit the width of the bread
½ cup loosely packed arugula, washed and dried
Place a medium-sized sauté pan over medium-high heat.
Spread half of the mayo on one side of each slice of bread, and once the pan it hot, add them, mayo side down.
In the following order, add the ingredients to one of the slices of bread in the pan: the Manchego, chorizo, melon, arugula, and finally, the brick cheese. Once the other slice of bread has become golden brown on the bottom, flip the sandwich to place it on top, golden side up.
Use a flat-bottomed metal spatula to firmly press down on the sandwich, turn the heat to low and cover the pan with a lid or foil until the cheese has melted, about 4 minutes or so.
Serve! and Enjoy!