As a wanna be food photographer there are dishes I love, and dishes I dread, to photograph. Some foods inspire, where styling and photographing them is a real pleasure. Then there are the others, the bane of my existence type dishes. Unfortunately, these all seem to fall under one category, and of course that category happens to be one of my favorite foods to eat: cheesy decadent dishes. I swear, photographing oozing cheese is an art form, and one I will one day master. #Determination. However, this lack of adequately capturing lava like cheese is problematic, especially this month. Because, this month is national grilled cheese month. And, I would really like to photograph and share, my God given right, to celebrate this phenomenal month of melty, oozy cheese stuffed between two pieces of bread with you. And I can’t really do that without the cheese in the grilled cheese sandwich, now can I?
Despite my total anxiety over photographing cheesy, stringy, melty, delicious grilled cheese, I decided to forge on, photograph, grimace, and share. Because this Wine and Turkey Club Grilled Cheese with “Au Jus” is one for the Guinness book of food world records. It is that amazingly delicious. Besides, quitting is for losers. 🙂
This grilled cheese sandwich has it all. It is cheesy (obviously) and creamy from the port wine cheese spread and slices of provolone, meaty from the turkey and bacon, and crunchy from the perfectly buttered and griddled bread. Overall, it is totally dreamy and definitely worth every calorie laden bite. It is pure bliss stuffed in between two pieces of buttery, toasted bread. I was aiming for a play on the classic wine and cheese pairing. And, not to toot my own horn but, “toot-toot”, because I am pretty sure I nailed it. I know Boy completely agrees, considering he inhaled three of these sandwiches in record time.
To really send this sandwich over the top, and into the next level of unadulterated greatness, I decided to make a little “au jus” to dip the grilled cheese into. I know that technically speaking, Au Jus is made from the juice (and cooking liquid) of the meat itself, so this is not a typical Au Jus. Made from a combination of port wine, cheddar cheese, and a few other ingredients, it is simply a play on Au Jus. However, it is scrumptious and definitely enhances the already delectable sandwich. Therefore I kindly insist you try it with this wine and turkey club grilled cheese.
This grown up grilled cheese is packed with port wine cheese, turkey, bacon, tomatoes, provolone & served with a port wine au jus.
- Dressing: (yields ½ cup)
- 2 ½ TBS Port Wine
- 1 ½ TBS Mayonnaise
- 1 ½ TBS Half & Half
- 3 TBS Sharp Cheddar Cheese - grated
- 1 tsp Honey
- ½ tsp Red Wine Vinegar
- ½ tsp Dijon Mustard
- ½ tsp Molasses
- Pinch Onion Powder
- Pinch Garlic Powder
- 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt , plus more to taste
- Black Pepper , to taste
- 4 Slices Sourdough Bread (can substitute another sturdy bread)
- 6 slices Deli Turkey Breast – thinly sliced
- 6 slices Provolone
- 4 TBS Port Wine Cheese Spread
- 4 Slices Bacon – cooked and cut in half crosswise
- 1 Tomato – thinly sliced
- 4 TBS Butter , divided
- Salt , to taste
- Make the Wine and Cheese Dressing: In the bowl of a food processor, add all dressing ingredients and process until smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
- For Grilled Cheese: Melt 1/3 of the butter in a griddle pan (or cast iron skillet or nonstick sauté pan) over medium heat. Add bread to the pan and toast one side until pale golden in color, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer bread, TOASTED SIDE UP, to a clean work surface.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of the port wine cheese evenly on the toasted side of each piece of bread. Evenly divide, and arrange, 2 slices of provolone, turkey, bacon and tomato on top of 2 pieces of bread. Top with another slice of provolone and remaining 2 pieces of bread, toasted and port wine cheese side facing inward.
- Reduce heat under griddle pan to medium low. Melt another 1/3 of the butter. Once melted, add the sandwiches. Cook until golden brown on bottom, about 5 minutes. Spread the top, untoasted side, of the sandwich with remaining butter and flip over. Continue to cook the sandwich until golden brown, an additional 5 minutes. Serve with Wine and Cheese Dressing “Au Jus” on side to dip sandwich into.
*Wine and Cheese Dressing will keep, covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.