Classic grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup

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Thanks to HelloFresh for sponsoring this video! Use code 10ADAMRAGUSEA to get 10 FREE MEALS across your first four HelloFresh boxes, including free shipping on your first box: *** TOMATO SOUP RECIPE, MAKES 6-8 BOWLS *** 1 large onion 1 fennel bulb (you could skip this, or replace it with another onion (1 stick (4 oz, 113g) butter (you could use as little as 1/4 of that) pepper 1 teaspoon celery seeds (very optional) 1/4 cup flour (30g) 2 28 oz) 800g) cans of tomatoes (quality matters a lot, and I like Muir Glen in the US) 1 cup (237mL) white wine (very optional) salt water sugar (if the tomatoes aren’t sweet enough) tomato paste (if the tomatoes aren tomatoey enough) olive oil, chili flakes and a garlic clove for the chili oil garnish Roughly chop the onion and the fennel bulb (reserving the stalks and fronds for later). Melt the butter in a big pot over medium heat and cook the onion and fennel in there for a few minutes until it starts to soften. Grind in some pepper and put in the celery seeds. Stir in the flour, and cook it for a couple minutes. Before anything browns, dump in the tomatoes. If the tomatoes are whole, you can accelerate their cooking by squishing them up. Stir in the wine, if you’re using it. Simmer for at least a half hour, stirring and scraping occasionally to keep anything from burning on the bottom. For the chili oil garnish, put maybe 1/4 cup (60mL) of olive oil in a small pan and fill it with chili flakes. Drop in the garlic clove and heat it until the garlic just starts to sizzle. Leave it on low heat to infuse while the soup cooks. When the soup is ready, puree it and then add salt and water to taste – you will probably need a lot of both. Consider the addition sugar or tomato paste to enhance the flavor, or maybe some vinegar if you didn’t use the white wine. If you want it super smooth, use a stiff spoon to grind the soup through a sieve, discarding the vegetable fibers. Serve the soup with a drizzle of chili oil on top and maybe some of the reserved fennel fronds. *** CLASSIC GRILLED CHEESE RECIPE *** Soften a lot of butter – maybe a tablespoon (30g) per slice of bread. Liberally butter each slice of bread on one side. Heat a nonstick pan over medium, and put in the first slice of bread, butter-side down. Lay on 2-3 slices of cheese (I prefer “American” cheese), and dust on a little garlic powder (that’s not classic – just my trick). Put the second slice of bread on, butter-side up. Cover the pan with a lid or some foil and cook until the first side is brown to your liking. Flip, cover, and cook until the second side is done. (If you want your cheese to be very gooey, splash a little water in the pan before you cover it for the second time.) When both sides are brown, I like to uncover it and flip it a couple more times, just to get both sides hot and dry.

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45 COMMENTS

  1. My wife is Russian and wasn't too much into smooth pureed soups, including tomato soups. I say "wasn't" because I followed your recipe and she LOVED it! (as did I, but that was pretty much a given) We believe the fennel is what really did the trick, bringing some really nice vegetably freshness. We also loved the spicy oil, it brings a nice "oomf". Thanks for your great recipe! (oh and sandwiches were great too!)

  2. The grilled cheese recipe is way off.

    First off, you don't need room temp butter, and you don't need to spread it either. You just need 2 pads to put under the already constructed sandwich in a not scorching pan.

    Do not keep the sandwich open on the pan either, the cheese will not melt for things besides emmulsified "cheese slices".

    How to make the sandwich:

    * Lay down thick layers of a low fat cheese/low moisture or even something "vegan", since these tend to melt quicker and have stringiest consistency at the end. Just like pizza cheese etc.

    * Spread one side with a nice gentle layer of Goulden's mustard or any brown mustard of your choice. This is super important and gives cheeses that aren't American cheese some tang. I find the fake tang from most processed cheese horrible in a grilled. But it's not bad for most things.

    * Once your sandwich is done, place 2 pats of cold unsalted butter on the top of the sandwich.

    * Bring a pan up to heat, use drips of water from your hand quickly being run in the sink to see if the pan is hot enough. A good boil from the water is correctly heated pan. Turn the heat to medium-low or medium depending on the stove top. Induction or plate stoves tend to need less heat since they can't radiate into anything else besides the pan.

    * Flip upside down with your hands or spatula. The butter will spread itself as the heat melts it, it will also bubble up around the edges. Which is what this recipe doesn't account for, also heating anything warm fast is easier to burn than something that's already solid. In the mean time put 2 more pads on the top of the sandwich.

    * Watch and smell until it starts to get a nice golden brown butter smell, DONT be afraid to peek underneath as needed. This is not a pancake.

    * Flip and allow the same procedure from before, make sure the cheese is melting, if it isn't lower the temp so that you don't burn the bread but still get that cheese melty. Make sure to press on the sandwich often for the last 2 steps as well, this will help you judge if the cheese is melting.

    * When brown on both sides, remove to a plate.

    Best GC you ever had trust me, also Mayo is whack for a toasting spread it gives the bread a horrible sour/fishy taste since boiling eggs and lemon isn't very pleasant to begin with.

  3. True story: in the dorms in college they had a grilled cheese station and my friend ate there at least once a day and then went to donate plasma and she CLOGGED THE MACHINE because her plasma had so much fat in it. They had never seen anything like it…

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