Kielbasa, onions, and peppers are melted Monterey Jack in this simple Saturday Kielbasa Grilled Cheese. Monterey Jack cheese has a delicious sharpness that pairs well with the smoky sausage, sweet peppers, and red onions.
April is Grilled Cheese Month. What is it about a grilled cheese? Is it the comfort food aspect? You know, that lunch after spending hours playing in the snow that consisted of a deliciously gooey sandwich with some warming tomato soup? Is it just the cheese? Is it the accessories to the cheese; the turkey or ham? Some pepperoni maybe? Seriously. What is it about a grilled cheese that is just mesmerizing?
This nation is fascinated with grilled cheese sandwiches. They’re in all shapes and sizes. There’s whole restaurants and food trucks that specialize in grilled cheeses. There’s sweet and savory combinations, there’s cuisine mash ups, there’s a billion different ways to make a grilled cheese. Maybe that’s the fascination with the grilled cheese sandwich.
Maybe it’s the sheer history of this sandwich that has embedded itself here since roughly the 1920s. Some genius created a way of slicing bread. Add to the equation Kraft’s invention of processed cheese, throw in one failing economy, and voila the grilled cheese was born! Roughly.
In the 20’s and 30’s food was of short supply to some. Heck MONEY was of short supply to some, so they had to get by with what they could buy; a loaf of bread, some cheese, and some butter. Ergo, the popularity and staple of everyday life in the US became the grilled cheese.
I am paraphrasing of course.
But this post isn’t about the history of America or the grilled cheese. It’s about Rumiano organic cheese. Which goes back almost as far as the grilled cheese. By 1930, Rumiano cheese had a successful cheese factory in California; around the time of the invention of the grilled cheese. Oh the irony!
Rumiano is a fourth generation cheese factory that is committed to it’s fore father’s vision of quality cheese and excellent flavors. They were the first to create and market an award winning aged dry Jack cheese. They’ve produced many flavors over the years including pepper jack, Mediterranean jack (Where can I get this one?), and many Latino varieties. All quality cheese with superb flavors!
In 2011 they went above and beyond and launched the first US cheese that is certified non-GMO through the non-GMO Project. Not only that, but their milk producers are certified humane through the American Humane Associations Free Farmed Certified Program. So, to say you can feel good about eating this cheese is an understatement.
Now, enough about this awesome company. Let’s talk about the cheese!!
I couldn’t wait to get home and taste all three varieties I purchased with the coupons I received. BUT I did. I waited until Saturday to open the packages and see what the hubbub was about.
Let me tell you, this cheese is FANTASTIC! No, it’s better than that. It’s fantabumazing! Yup! I said it. FANTABUMAZING! It’s oh so creamy. It melts perfectly. There’s an intense cheese flavor that you will not ever taste in your traditional, mass produced cheeses. There’s also a sharpness to the flavor of these cheese that just enhances the whole experience that is Rumiano cheese. I equate that flavor to quality cheese aged to perfection that you will not find in those other, manufactured cheese.
So, there I stood in the kitchen on Saturday tasting nibbles of each of the three kinds I purchased: pepper jack, Monterey jack, and mozzarella. I was seeking inspiration and letting the cheese speak to me and tell me what it wanted to be up against in my grilled cheese inspiration. I won’t spoil the other two, but this Monterey jack was telling me kielbasa. And I listened. This amazing cheese wraps itself around some smoky, turkey kielbasa with some sweet, bell peppers and some spicy red onions.
Now, I’m a purist for the most part when it comes to my grilled cheese. I’m not a huge fan of sauces on my sammies. I think the melted cheese is sauce enough for me. If I add sauce it only makes for a mess and lose something in translation. So, this grilled cheese is all about that cheese and its accessories. However, a good stone ground mustard would really enhance the Oktoberfest experience with sausage, peppers, and onions. Just saying.
I was nervous making these for the hubs. He nibbled on some of the cheese, too, and when I asked him what he’d pair with the Monterey jack he said, “Ham.” While that’s not a bad suggestion, I was hoping for something a little more…creative? then ham. Not to worry. I have something more creative in store for the other two cheeses. You’ll just have to wait to see.
I didn’t want to over stuff the sandwich, see? There should be the right ratio of fillings to cheese. I have a habit of putting too much on my sandwich, on my pizza, on my plate at dinner. Oh wait, this isn’t a support group. Sorry!
You can see all the ingredients: the cheese, sausage, peppers, and onions. I love that. All those colors mean tasty flavor through and through! Oh, I also bought an organic whole wheat boule to make my sandwich with. The hubs got a nice Italian loaf. The bread is important, too! You have to remember that when making grilled cheese sandwiches.
You also have to make sure the bread gets nice and crisp! This takes time, not high heat like some believe. It’s a nice medium heat and you let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Now, my trick to making sure the cheese is completely melted is a dash of water and a lid. You steam the cheese to ensure proper and even meltage but only after the bread is nicely browned. Now S? His sandwich was PERFECT! Golden brown and crispy on both sides. I rushed my second side. It was still crispy but not as crispy and browned as you see here.
Yeah. I couldn’t resist and had to take a bite during the photo shoot. I was hungry, it was cheesy, and screaming “EAT ME!” So, I did. And see that little cheese thread? That one right there? Oh yeah. That’s what you’re looking for in excellent cheese and the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.
Perfect meltage. See what I mean? The cheese just wraps itself around the ingredients in the sandwich. They become one; like a mind meld only with cheese. It’s a cheese meld! You can’t tell where one stops and other starts until you bite into it. Then it’s a flavor explosion in your mouth that ignited by this delicious – nay EXQUISITE cheese.
The nutty bread gives away to the creamy cheese. Then the sweet peppers hit your palette along with the spicy onions. Finally, you taste the smoky sausage which enhances the flavor of the bread and with every bite the whole experience starts over again and again.
Now, I was lucky enough to be able to participate in this campaign from Tomoson, so I received three coupons for free cheese from Rumiano.
Please make sure you check out their website, their cheese-cator to see where to purchase it in your area, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, and then subscribe to their YouTube channel where you can learn all about their non-GMO cheese and their factory.
And on top of me giving away some of their delicious cheese, they’re hosting a grilled cheese contest where they are giving away some of their cheese! You won’t want to miss out on this contest.
- 4 slices rustic whole wheat bread
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 6 ounces Rumiano organic Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 thin slices red onion cut in half
- half a small, orange, bell pepper thinly sliced
- 7 ounces turkey kielbasa
- Slice the sausage link in half and then in slices lengthwise. You should get 4 slices per half. (I lightly browned my sausage in the pan before putting it on the sandwiches, but this is optional.)
- Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons of butter on each of the four slices of bread. Place the butter sides together.
- Slice the cheese into 8 slices lengthwise. Arrange two slices of cheese on top of one slice of bread, top with half of an onion slice and a few strips of bell pepper. Top with four slices of kielbasa, the other half of the onion slice and few more strips of bell pepper.
- Heat a medium skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat.
- Remove the top piece of bread with all the toppings carefully and place in the skillet; butter side down. Place the second piece of bread on top; butter side up. Cook 3 to 5 minutes on each side until golden brown and the cheese is melted (Read my post for a meltage tip!). Remove from heat and repeat with remaining toppings and bread. Remove from heat and allow to cool 2 to 3 minutes (if you can wait that long) before slicing in half and serving.
Nutrition InformationYield 2 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 930Total Fat 69gSaturated Fat 34gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 31gCholesterol 179mgSodium 1947mgCarbohydrates 37gFiber 4gSugar 8gProtein 42g