By Seth Fera-Schanes
The moment you enter Murray’s Cheese, located in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, you know you are in someplace special. A cheese shop that was started in the 1940’s, Murray’s ranks high among the other New York food greats like Zabar’s, Russ and Daughters and Barney Greengrass.
Beyond the immense selection of food in the store, what really stands out to me is the quality of service and the knowledge of the people who work there. Case in point: I wanted to make a grilled cheese sandwich. I went to Murray’s and let them know my intentions and asked for some recommendations. Not only did they offer guidance but described the profiles of the cheeses they were suggesting and let me sample as we talked. We decided on a two cheese combination sandwich with Swiss Challerhocker and English Ticker Cheddar. The pairing was great and I have included my recipe below. Enjoy!
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
1/4 lb. – Challerhocker cheese
1/4 lb. – Tickler Cheddar
1 bunch thin asparagus
2 tomatoes – heirloom tomatoes would be a nice touch
Cut bottom off asparagus (about 2 inches) and place in a pot of boiling water Blanch for 2-3 minutes until tender. Remove immediately and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.Slice bread into 1/2 inch thick slices and set aside.
Cut cheese into thin pieces. The cheddar might start crumbling which is fine. Add even amounts of both cheese to one slice of bread. Top with 1/4 inch think tomato slice (1-2 slices per sandwich) and 3-4 asparagus spears. Top with slice of bread and drizzle a little olive oil on the outside top and bottom of the sandwich. You can do this in advance because it might be hard to adjust the sandwich with everything in it.
Using a grill press, panini press or skillet add sandwich and cook for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread has a nice golden brown color. If you are using a skillet, add a weight such as another pot on top of the sandwich to press and then flip after a few minutes.
Remove from pan and serve.