Sautéed mushroom grilled cheese with fontina, apples, and tarragon mayo
For the better part of a decade, my husband and I spent one long weekend each September on the Cape with his grandparents. At first it was just the four of us. We’d gorge on fried oysters and scallops, fresh lobster, and an abundance of seafood chowder. We’d spend mornings walking along the beach, Grammy telling us how coming here was like coming home. Watching her breathe in the salty ocean air, a huge smile spreading across her face, we knew she meant it.
The four of us would stay up late into the evening, drinking wine, eating what I know to be hands down the best blueberry pie on the planet, discussing everything from politics to our plans for the future. Late at night, my husband and I would look at each other, declare them our personal role models, and vow to spend our lives treating each other with as much kindness, love, and respect as they continue to do with each other.
Over the years, our weekends on the Cape transformed into mini family reunions, including my mother-in-law and her other children. When John and I had kids of our own, it was nothing short of a pleasure to bring them to the Cape and watch them enjoy a place that held such meaningful memories for our family.
Today we’re jetting off to Florida to see our families, this time in celebration of Grammy’s 90th birthday. 90! I’ll share in another post just how much this woman means to me — spoiler alert: she means everything — but suffice it to say our family collectively savors every minute we get with her and Poppa, or as the grandkids affectionally refer to them, the power couple: G&P.
Before the celebration, we’re bringing the kids to Disney, where I’m sure there will be public meltdowns, spilled ice cream, and the feeling of failure as parents (traveling with kids in a nutshell, am I right?!). But who cares? Because I get to spend the weekend with the woman I admire most and tell her yet again how much I love her.
P.S. I made a fancy grilled cheese.Print
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, (divided)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb shiitake mushrooms, (cleaned and chopped into strips)
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 8 slices of multi-grain (or your favorite!) bread
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ⅓ cup mayo
- 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, (finely chopped)
- 2 apples ((I used Granny Smith, but anything not too sweet will work))
- 1 ½ cups fontina cheese, (grated)
- Heat 2 tablespoons butter and olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add mushrooms and sauté, undisturbed, for 3-5 minutes. Stir, then season with 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and thyme. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, until mushrooms have shrunk in size and are slightly browned. Pour in apple cider vinegar and heavy cream, then scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula. Remove from heat and set aside.
- To make the tarragon mayo, add freshly chopped tarragon (or another herb you love!) to mayonnaise and stir to combine.
- To assemble sandwiches, spread tarragon mayo on one side of each sandwich half. Add a thin layer of sliced apples, a large spoonful of mushrooms (depends on size of bread — as much or as little as you like, I used about ¼ cup per sandwich), ¼ of the grated fontina cheese, then top with second slice of bread. Repeat until all sandwiches prepped.
- Heat a griddle (or large skillet) over medium-high heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, then carefully add each sandwich to the griddle. If some of the filling slides out, just pop it back in. Cook about 4 minutes per side, lowering the heat as necessary so the bread doesn’t burn and the cheese has time to melt. Serve immediately, with extra tarragon mayo on the side if you like!