If there was one thing that I had to eat the rest of my life, I might very well choose cheese. I am a total cheese addict. I actually don’t think a day goes by where I don’t have cheese in one form or another. But the thing is – I am not a cheese expert by any means. I’m very “American” with my cheese – you know, usually only eating the kinds that come in blocks in the dairy section at the grocery store. I have been trying to branch out a bit since I started blogging, and fortunately, I have started seeing more imported cheeses at my local grocery store.
So when the folks at Ile de France contacted me and asked if I’d like to be part of a program where I get to sample an imported cheese each month, I jumped on it as fast as I could. This would be a great opportunity for me to become more familiar with more than just the block cheeses. They’ve asked me to be honest in my reviews, so each month I will show the cheese and give you my honest opinion.
The first cheese that came to me is called Saint Andre. It is a soft cheese who’s texture reminded me of brie. I decided that with each cheese, I’m going to try it in a simple way where the cheese flavor shines – like on a cracker – and also try the cheese in some sort of recipe. On the company’s website, they call the Saint Andre “heavenly” and I think that is the perfect word to describe it. The minute I tried this on my crackers, I knew it was a cheese I was going to fall in love with. It is really creamy and rich – yet I had a hard time not eating the whole wedge of cheese just on my crackers! Once I finally pulled myself away, I decided to make a panini for lunch with the cheese. The panini was a combination of eggplant, prosciutto, and the cheese and it was a perfect lunch. I was actually surprised how well the cheese melted and became nice and gooey – just how cheese should be on a panini! The cheese taste came through very well and was the star of the sandwich!
Grilled Eggplant, Prosciutto and Cheese Panini
inspired by 30-Minute Meals
makes one sandwich
1 slice of eggplant, about 1/4 inch thick
extra virgin olive oil
1 slice prosciutto
St. Andre cheese
mixed baby greens
1 foccacia roll
Brush both sides of the eggplant with olive oil. On a pre-heated panini press, grill the eggplant.
Assemble the cheese, eggplant, prosciutto and greens on the foccacia roll. Grill on the panini press until browned and the cheese has melted.