Books, Cooking, Food, Recipe

Eat This While You Read That: Lee and Miller

Bread and cheese-21

A couple of weeks ago I featured a lowly, plebian sandwich on ETWYRT. Today’s recipe is pretty much the exact opposite of the zombie apocalypse grilled cheese.

I really enjoy the Liaden series, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. I came into it backwards, in a way, discovering Fledgling through the Baen webscriptions, and then realized that book was part of this vast universe of stories. One of these days I’ll try to read all of them in order, but it was fun to try and find all of them, and then figure out who was related to who and so forth. For my readers who aren’t familiar with them, I think the best way I can describe them is Regency Romance in Space, albeit with more action.

When I asked if they would like to take part in this series, Steve suggested I pair a grilled cheese with apple butter, a Levendi Cabernet Sauvignon, and their book Mouse and Dragon. Daav yos’Phelium, Delm Korval (a title I imagine to be roughly equivalent to a Duke), is a man of wealth and privilege who occasionally indulges in a grilled cheese sandwich with a smear of apple butter. mouse and dragon

I put this meal off far too long, because I used to make apple butter every year, and I thought that I would do it for this… but it was not to be. Instead, I settled for a nice bought jar, a loaf of ciabatta bread I did make myself, and a small wheel of brie. You can find the recipe for the bread here, it’s great for this recipe since it has lots of nooks and crannies for the apple butter to sink into.

So… this is a meal you could make in two days, or in five minutes, it’s up to you! If you start a sponge for the ciabatta a day ahead you’ll get a touch of the yeasty ‘sourdough’ flavor in the bread. And apple butter can be made overnight in the crock pot.

Bread, butter, and cheese...
Bread, butter, and cheese…

To make the brie easier to work with, allow it to come up to room temperature – on a warm day, it’s almost spreadable. Slice your bread thinly, and start the broiler to warm the oven.

Bread and cheese-15

The First Reader, inspired by the idea of the Apple Butter, suggested we try it with honey, too. So we spread apple butter on some slices, and I drizzled a little honey on others.

Brie, with the crust off, on the open-face sandwiches ready to go in the oven.
Brie, with the crust off, on the open-face sandwiches ready to go in the oven.

I took the crust off the cheese because I’m not fond of it (I later used it, chopped, in biscuits. That was good). Besides that, I wanted a lovely gooey bubbly effect from broiling the cheese.

Ooh, melted cheese!
Ooh, melted cheese!

You only want these under the broiler for a minute. Keep an eye on them! They are done when the cheese has developed a little tan and is all bubbly.

Elegant grilled cheese
Elegant grilled cheese

They came out just as I was hoping, a really pretty dish, perfect for a light lunch (or a snack!). The sweetness of the apple butter paired beautifully with the delicate brie. The ones we did with honey had just a hint of honey flavor and were almost as good. And the bread was great for this, crunchy and chewy, just right for an open-face sandwich. As most of you know, I’m not a chef. I don’t do haute cuisine. But for this? I think I did ok. A pretty, simple dish, and well worth the effort in making it. Maybe next time I can find the right apples to make apple butter with!

If you want to keep it simple and easy, buy the bread, the cheese, and the apple butter and it will take you five minutes to put this together. Then you can lounge with a copy of Mouse and Dragon while you enjoy your snack.

You can find the Index Page for ETWYRT here, and the facebook group where we talk food and books here.

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