Monday, August 5, 2013

Garlic Herb Ciabatta Grilled Cheese-Great Midwest Flavored Cheeses Review

Garlic Herb Ciabatta Grilled Cheese
Let's talk cheese. If you don't like cheese,or are dairy free/lactose intolerant...I'm so so sorry but this post is not for you. You see, I was contacted by the amazing people at Great Midwest cheeses to try their 12 varieties of flavored artisan Cheddars and Monterey jacks, review them for you, give you a chance to win them (scroll past the recipe for that), and to tell you all about this SUPER AMAZING recipe contest they've got going on!

So first, the cheese. Great Midwest is available at select retailers, club stores and cheese shops nationwide (find where to buy near you here). They're all natural, handcrafted in small batches and made in Wisconsin, using only pure, certified hormone free milk! The flavors range from sweet (ooh la la Blueberry Cobbler Cheddar) to savory (such as my personal favorite, Garlic & Dill Cheddar) to spicy (hoo! Most of all the Habanero Jack!)-and Michael and I tried them all. You know...for the sake of professionalism. The one big factor that struck both of us about all the cheeses-their smooth and silky texture, it is divine! Plus, they melt extremely well (part of why they make such phenomenal grilled cheeses!) All of the cheeses did an amazing job at representing their flavors-they were very true to them, but not overbearing. Plus-they're so versatile. Depending on which flavor, they can be used for snacks, on crackers, shredded over salads, added to casseroles, omelets, mac n cheese, even used in baking!
Garlic Herb Ciabatta Grilled Cheese
Now, this August and September, Great Midwest is hosting a recipe contest-inviting home chefs (or fellow food bloggers ;P) to submit their favorite grilled cheese recipe, using Great Midwest cheese(s), for a chance to win one of eight prizes including a vacation, Panini presses and cookbooks! You can enter through Facebook or their website, and you can check those out for more details on how the recipes will be judged as well as for any rules or restrictions. Essentially, though, key areas for the judging are: the use of Great Midwest cheeses, taste, and creativity/originality of the recipe (this is a big component so you're encouraged to go crazy and have some off the wall ideas!).  They're also offering bonus points to entrants that share their participation on Facebook, anyone that posts anything on the Great Midwest Facebook page – whether it be a photo of their sandwich, their recipe, them in the kitchen cooking, etc. – will get bonus points on their entry. It's SUPER cool and I strongly encourage everyone to give it a shot and enter!
Garlic Herb Ciabatta Grilled Cheese
Since we're talkin' original grilled cheese recipes...obviously I had to make my own! So I did! Using that amazing ciabatta bread with the shredded Morel & Leek Jack, I then layered in some slices of the Garlic & Dill Cheddar (hands down my favorite cheese in the bunch, but are you really surprised?). And what did we get?

BEST GRILLED CHEESE EVER (in my humble opinion).

This ciabatta makes the most gorgeous golden brown, perfectly buttery and crisp bread for the grilled cheese, and it's simply stunning to see how beautifully the cheddar in the middle melted down (and how it really mellowed out the flavor). It is cheesy and buttery and garlic-y and herb-y and just like heaven dancing on your tastebuds. I cannot get enough of it. I didn't even used to like grilled cheese that much and now? I'VE EATEN THIS GRILLED CHEESE EVERY DAY SINCE I FIRST MADE IT-until I ran out of bread! And I miss it! Because oh em geeee. Fantastic. Just...so good. There aren't enough words to express my happiness over one lil cheesy sandwich.

Thank you Great Midwest.
Thank you.

Garlic Herb Ciabatta Grilled Cheese

A Kayle, Cooking Actress, original

Garlic Herb Ciabatta Grilled Cheese
Makes 1 grilled cheese.
Ingredients:
Preparation:
  • Spray a skillet or griddle with non-stick cooking spray. Heat over medium heat.
  • Generously butter both sides of each slice of bread.
  • Place one slice of bread on the heated skillet. Layer on desired amount of sliced cheese. Place 2nd slice of bread on top. Use a skillet to press the sandwich down, and flip when the first side has turned golden.
  • Continue to cook grilled cheese until the second side is golden and the cheese is melt-y.
  • Turn off heat, place on a plate, cut and serve!
Garlic Herb Ciabatta Grilled Cheese
Note: this sandwich's cheese was not cut thin enough...learn from my mistake. Cut the cheese thinly, it'll taste MUCH better. I've since made ohh...15 of these? ADDICTED.

Great Midwest Flavored Cheeses GIVEAWAY
(CLOSED)
The winner is "AnnaZed", who said: "Not revolutionary, but I love Gruyere with Cornichon pickles on sour dough. grilled cheese."
 CONGRATS!
Garlic Herb Ciabatta Grilled Cheese
One lucky Cooking Actress reader will will be awarded a cheese gift basket with one of each of the 12 cheeses from the Great Midwest.
(1) 7 oz. block Apple Cinnamon Cheddar
(1) 7 oz. block Blueberry Cobbler Cheddar
(1) 7 oz. block Chipotle Cheddar
(1) 7 oz. block Cranberry Cheddar
(1) 7 oz. block Garlic & Dill Cheddar
(1) 8 oz. wheel Habanero Jack
(1) 7 oz. block Horseradish Cheddar
(1) 8 oz. wheel JalapeƱo Jack
(1) 7 oz. block Mango Fire Cheddar
(1) 8 oz. wheel Morel & Leek Jack
(1) 7 oz. block Naturally Smoked Cheddar
(1) 8 oz. wheel Salsa Jack

Giveaway closes August 12, 2013, 12 AM EST.  After the contest is over, I will send the winner an email (so please make sure you provide an email address or some other way to get in touch with you), and obtain shipping information (we do not share this information with anyone). The winner will have 3 days to respond or another winner will be chosen, all prizes will be awarded. The winner will be chosen via a random number generator. Open to U.S. residents over the age of 18. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. 

How to enter: (REQUIRED FOR ENTRY IN THIS GIVEAWAY) 
Have a favorite grilled cheese recipe? Tell me about it! (Recipe links welcome.) 
Or-what kind of ways would you use the Great Midwest flavored cheeses if you won?

Additional (optional) entries: (you will receive one additional entry for each of the following--so if you leave a comment for all of them, you can have a total of up to 9 entries/chances to win!) MAKE SURE TO LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT FOR EACH ENTRY-these entries are optional, not required.
**If you already like/follow any of these, it still counts. Just let me know you already follow each in separate comments**

Disclaimer:  This post was sponsored by Saputo/ Great Midwest Cheeses, and they provided me with product, and I was under no obligation to review if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. My opinions, as always, are all my own. We are not liable for technical failures or typographical errors, or resolving identity disputes related to the winner.VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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