Thursday, April 16, 2009

Friday Nights IN: Tax Recovery with Glamorous Grilled Cheese and Fume Blanc

Friday Nights IN is a regular feature at GWU$20 that's intended to trim a few dollars from your entertaining budget by replacing a meal out with a meal in. Some suggestions are dinners for four, six, eight, or even ten. Some are for romantic dinners for two. And some suggestions are perfect for when you need time to yourself!

Today's Friday Nights IN suggestion is for a comforting dinner for 1-4 people that is perfect for recovering from filing your taxes. This meal manages to be comforting, frugal, and just a tad bit glamorous. Yes, it's a chi-chi take on grilled cheese--but who do you know that doesn't like grilled cheese? Rent a movie, invite some friends over, and pour some good wine. You can all recover together. If you're too glum to see friends given the news you received yesterday from your accountant, make yourself two sandwiches and eat both of them.

The Food: Grilled cheese may not scream glamour to you, but I love toasted cheese sandwiches and eat them whenever I have the excuse. If you must, you can call it a panini and feel more hip. But I warn you, this smoked salmon panini is not your ordinary grilled cheese. It uses Brioche (although I used Challah, as I couldn't find Brioche), Dijon mustard, smoked salmon, Gruyere cheese, and the vital secret ingredient of fresh lemon zest. Slap all that in a fry pan or between the plates of a panini grill and you're on the way to a perfect meal if you have a bag of lettuce leaves and some dressing to serve alongside.

The Wine: I love an oaked Sauvignon Blanc with smoked fish like the salmon in this grilled cheese. In the United States, such bottlings are often labeled "Fume Blanc," a name coined decades ago by Robert Mondavi to help his wine compete better in the marketplace with French labels. (check out a history of the term here) In honor of Mr. Mondavi, I opened up a bottle of the 2007 Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc from the Napa Valley (available for $12-$20). This is one classy wine, with fresh Sauvignon Blanc fruit that's been barrel-aged for richness. Expect to smell creamy citrus and melon, along with some tarragon and herbal notes when you open up the bottle. These will be followed by citrus and orchard fruit flavors that are held in nice balance with the subtle oak which lends depth and complexity. Excellent QPR.


Elle said...

This post is my motivation for my own night in drinking wine. Thanks for the inspiration!!

David said...

I love the idea of a "fancy" grilled cheese suitable for pairing with wine! I like the fume blanc from RM too.