Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship - Take 3Tuesday, April 26, 2016
This past weekend marked my third appearance at the 5th Annual Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship, in addition to my two-year mark of participating in cooking competitions. For a refresher of the structure and rules of the competition, please check out my post from 2014. In addition, the following video gives a nice recap of what took place this year.
So with a little bit of experience under my belt now, I more-or-less knew what to expect. I knew that ideas had to come to me, and that I couldn't force a good sandwich if initial trials didn't go as expected. I knew how fast 15 minutes of cooking actually flew by. I knew the equipment that was provided, what equipment wasn't allowed, and certain miscellaneous things to bring that would come in handy at any similar competition.
About a month ago, I started thinking of what I wanted to do this year. In the past, an Indian-themed sandwich had crossed my mind, but I had never given it a try. Something along the lines of caramelized onions with garam masala, cilantro, a tomato-based sweet sauce, and so on. After the first trial, it just didn't seem to be working, so I gave it a few weeks and revisited the sandwich last week. This time though, I moved a little bit to the east, giving the sandwich more of a Thai influence. The final grilled cheese consisted of the following:
- Sourdough from Madison Sourdough in Madison, WI
- Compound butter with sesame oil and paprika
- Wisconsin Muenster from Decatur Dairy in Brodhead, WI
- Whole Milk Mozzarella from Foremost Farms in Athens, WI
- Fresh cilantro
- Green onions
- Caramelized onions with fresh ginger and garlic
- Julienned Granny Smith apple
- Masala tapioca slices
- Peanut sauce (made from peanut butter, sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, onion, lemon grass, etc.)