Patricia Wells is elegant, adorable, unflappable, and full of funny stories, and we had the most incredible truffle lunch - truffled scrambled eggs, truffled proscioto-wrapped scallops, chocolate truffles - but everyone's favorite, hands-down was the truffled grilled cheese sandwich. With Epoisses cheese and truffle butter. Recipe below.
Truffled Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
About 8 ounces of fresh specialty mushrooms (Michael used brown crimini and chanterelles; you may use what ever you like)
1 white onion, diced
about 2 to 3 tablespoons neutral oil - grapeseed or a mild olive oil
1 round of Epoisses cheese (it comes in a cute little wooden box)
black truffle butter - my local grocery sells this in 3 ounce packages
2 slices brioche for each sandwich (and you will want more than one)
truffle salt - make your own from Patricia Wells' recipe
Sautee the onion and mushrooms in a large skillet over medium-low heat until the mushrooms are soft - first they will give off a lot of water, then as you continue to cook them the water will evaporate and the mushrooms and onion will become soft. Do not brown.
Remove mushrooms from heat and stir in about 2 tablespoons truffle butter.
For each sandwich you will need two slices of brioche. Spread some truffle butter on one side of one slice of brioche. Spread a layer of Epoisses on one side of the other slice of brioche. Put about a 1/4 inch layer of mushrooms on top of the Epoisses, sprinkle with a little truffle salt, then close the sandwich by putting the buttered slice of brioche on top of the mushroom-topped slice, butter side down.
Place in a panini grill (or a non-stick skillet) and grill or toast until the bread is golden - flip the sandwiches (carefully!) and toast the other side. When golden on both sides remove to a bread board, slice in half, and dig in.
I think these would be fabulous cocktail-party fare with the best champagne you can afford. Altho I bet they're great with beer too...
Note: I love arugula in my sandwiches, even grilled, so I'm gonna try adding arugula. I'm also thinking of trying this with shallots instead of onion...I'm on a shallot kick. And any leftover mushroom mixture can be used in an omelette, or used to stuff a pork roast, or I'm sure a million other things.
Get the book - all the recipes can be made with mushrooms instead of truffles, and she has resources for where to get truffles (in case you live in a truffle-deprived zone).
Now if you will excuse me, I'm off to the kitchen for a snack. Maybe a little truffle butter on some toast?