Monday, July 13, 2009

Tyler Florence Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Chicken Noodle Soup

Grilled Cheese (Smoked Mozzarella and Basil Pesto)
Tyler Florence, Stirring the Pot

Basil Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup grated Prmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

4 slices white sandwich bread
4 thick-cup slices smoked mozzarella
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, peeled

For the Basil Pesto, in a food processor combine basil, parsley, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and oil and pulse until well combined but still rough in texture.

Assemble sandwiches by smearing one side of each bread slice with pesto. Layer the mozzarella slices over the pesto on half of the bread slices. Season with few turns of freshly ground black pepper. Place the remaining bread slices, pesto sides down, over cheese to make the sandwiches.

In large saute pan melt butter over medium heat. Add sandwiches and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, until golden brown and crispy. Remove from pan and rub toasted bread with the garlic clove.

**Heather's changes - My store did not have smoked mozzarella so I used regular mozzarella cheese. I also substituted Parmesan for the Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Chicken Noodle Soup
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence, found at

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices
2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
4 fresh thyme springs
1 bay leaf
2 quarts chicken stock (recipe for his homemade stock also available online)
8 ounces dried wide egg noodles
1-1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the noodles and simmer for 5 minutes until tender. Fold in the chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

*Heather's change - I omitted the 4 springs of thyme.

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