I have been a fan of Eric Greenspan for years. I don't even remember the first time I came across him on some random Food Network show, but ever since I first saw him, I was hooked. He has intelligence, a great sense of humor, a relaxed manner that is completely inviting, and a personality that makes you wish he was at every boring party you'd ever have to go to, because suddenly the party wouldn't be the slightest bit boring and the food would be crazy good.
He's taken all that intelligence and mixed it with a strong French culinary education to make grilled cheese sandwiches. What's not to like about this guy?
And finally, FINALLY!, he's come out with a cookbook of his grilled genius so that all of us can get a taste of his innovation with everyone's favorite comfort food. The Great Grilled Cheese Book is the Greenspan cookbook I've been waiting for, but so much better than I thought it would be.
Chef Greeny breaks it down by cheeses. There are chapters on American; Mozzarella and Provolone; Cheddar; Blue; Bloomy and Washed Rinds; Gouda, Gruyere, and Swiss; Goat; and Wild Cards. He offers several elevated grilled cheese sandwiches for each type of cheese, from his Cuban Reuben to the Morning Monte (based on the Monte Cristo), from the Monterey Melt (a tuna melt) to The Greek to The Gobbler (the most grilled cheese way of using up your Thanksgiving leftovers).
He bases his recipes on classic flavor combinations--steak and blue cheese, the Cobb salad, a patty melt, beer and pretzels, bananas and Nutella--and adds creative ideas for extra flavor and texture to make these the best grilled cheese sandwiches you've ever eaten. And while he includes recipes for everything so you can make your own (foccacia, jams, giardiniera, pickles, chutneys, even vegan Worcestershire sauce), he also notes often that there is no shame in using store-bought to same time and energy. Greenspan wants us to take his recipes and use them in ways that work for us, to open us up to new ideas for comfort foods, to find the flavors that both take us around the world and bring us home.
And he even includes recipes for making your own American cheese. Like I said, what's not to like about this guy?