Grecian Lamb and Tzatziki Grilled Cheese

Lately I have been thinking of grilled cheese sandwiches. The grilled cheese sandwich, just by itself, is pure comfort food. A couple slices of bread, some American cheese, and some butter is all you need to have thoughts of childhood, or to remove any stresses of the day. Two of my kids love the basic grilled cheese sandwich (God forbid that my oldest eat anything with melted cheese), and any time they are undecided what to eat for lunch on any given Saturday or Sunday, I also suggest a grilled cheese. There’s something about the low and slow process that I totally love. There is also something about coming up with new ideas when it comes to cheeses, and other ingredients that, well you know, I totally am all about. With that said, that’s when I decided to some up with a twist on a grilled cheese, and go all out, making what I am calling the Grecian lam and tzatziki grilled cheese.

IT WAS TO DIE FOR.

Grecian Lamb and Tzatziki Grilled Cheese

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 70 g Wisconsin Carr Valley Creama Kasa Cheese, sliced
  • 40 g Wisconsin Black River Blue Cheese, sliced
  • 1/2 lb ground lamb
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 1 inch slices of rustic French loaf
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/2 inch ring of red onion
  • 2 tbsp tzatziki sauce

Ingredients for the Tzatziki Sauce:

  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, and diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated using a microplane
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Make the tzatziki sauce by adding all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl, and stir to combine.

Next, form your lamb into a ball. Season with the salt and pepper.

Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat, then add the lamb. Let cook for about 3 minutes, then smash it down with a large spatula. Flatten it like you would a smash burger. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes to get it nice and caramelized.

Flip the patty, and continue to cook an additional three minutes. Add the onion ring, and let the onion gently cook on top of the burger. Remove the lamb patty and place on some paper towel to let any excess fat be removed.

Spread butter, along with 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise onto each slice of bread. Yes, mayonnaise.

Place the bread, butter and mayonnaise side down, on low heat onto a skillet, then layer the blue cheese. Cook for about 5 minutes on low. When the bread becomes lightly golden, add the cooked lamb burger with the onion ring, making sure the center of the onion is removed.

Continue to cook until the bread starts getting a bit darker golden brown.

How to make a Grecian Lamb and Tzatziki Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Add the tzatziki sauce into the center of the onion ring.

Top with the Carr Valley cheese, then add the remaining slice of bread, butter and mayonnaise side up.

Carefully flip, then weight down with a heavy pan, or bacon press.

Continue cooking on low until the bottom side is golden brown, then flip again, press with the bacon weight, and cook until the cheese is nice and melted on both sides.

Now you want to talk about an awesome grilled cheese, then this is the one. Talk about surprises in this sandwich. You get that nice boldness with the lamb, and then the creaminess hits you from the Carr Valley cheese, then a punch from the creamy and melted blue cheese, only to be balanced with the wilted onion and tangy tzatziki sauce. It was extremely difficult to put this down, and to be honest, it only hit the plate one time before I continued to devour it. Hope you enjoy!

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Nueske’s Ham Steak – Product Review

It wasn’t too long ago that Nueske’s had mentioned on Facebook that they had been trying new jerky and that prompted me to ask them if they were interested in my doing a product review. They immediately reacted and showed me a bunch of love and sent me not only the steak strips, but products I’ve never seen or tried. These included their bacon cheddar brats (which were awesome), along with some excellent bacon, and then their ham steaks. I’ve never seen the ham steak so I was very curious on how it was going to taste.  The ham steak by itself, warmed in the oven, was excellent. It was perfectly smoked and extremely addicting, and with that said I figured I would try grilling the next one, and lathering it in barbecue sauce.

Grilled Nueske's Ham Steak with Barbecue Sauce

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole Nueske’s Ham Steak
  • 1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce

Start by heating your coals. You can do this on a gas grill if you prefer, but it has been so long since I last used my gas grill. Once the coals are heated, add to the outer, inside ring of your grill as we will cook the Nueske’s ham steak over indirect heat, and then lightly oil your clean grill grate.

Nueske's Ham Steak - Product Review

Place the ham steak on the grill over indirect heat, and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes per side, and then start brushing on your favorite barbecue sauce. Cover, and cook another few minutes, then turn the ham steak over and lather more barbecue sauce on that side. Cover, and repeat until you are out of sauce.

The end result is nothing short of amazing, and everything I would expect from Nueske’s. The ham steak got some nice grill marks, and embedded some of that barbecue sauce into it that just made it even better.

I know I show all the love for Nueske’s and there is good reason for that as I haven’t found a better smoked product then theirs. If you are looking to try any of their products, you can find them online.

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Nueske’s Bacon Cheddar Bratwurst – Product Review

A few years back, my colleagues and I decided to go to the Milwaukee Brewers game and do some tailgating. The theme of the tailgate was to really have a blind brat tasting contest. Yes, we Wisconsinites love our brats. We had an array of brats from local butchers to the ring leaders such as Johnsonville and Klements. Johnsonville brats came out the winner, but recently there is a new winner in town. Nueske’s bacon cheddar bratwurst.  I have always been a fan of their products and hands down they have some of the best bacon out there. I was fortunate to get the love from Nueske’s and they sent me a care package if you will. It was loaded with products I have never seen in our local stores. Products such as ham, beef sticks, and their smoked sausage. I was excited to say the least to try everything.

Nueske's Bacon Cheddar Bratwurst - Product Review

The brats themselves look awesome. The package consisted of 5 brats, fully cooked and ready to heat and serve.

I decided to heat mine on the grill. After I got the coals going, I placed the brats on the grill, and cooked them a bit low and slow as I did not want to burst the casing with higher heat. Once cooked, I plated them. I was excited (I know I live a boring life) to say the least, and my wife who does not typically like some textures of brats decided to have one as well.

Nueske's Bacon Cheddar Bratwurst

I served mine on a bun with a light coating of yellow mustard, and some chopped shallots on top.

First bite, was just this awesome taste. I loved the casing. It has this great snap to it, almost like you would get with a great weiner, and then the flavor of bacon and cheese just took this bratwurst over the top. My wife was in total agreement. I wanted another, but decided to hold back and save some for my kids. The following day, my sausage loving kid dug in, and was just was thrilled by the taste of these brats as well.

So a note to my local supermarkets, put these in stock. They are probably the best brats I’ve had to this date, and I’m not saying that because I love Nueske’s. I’m saying that because it is the truth. Head on over to Nueske’s and try them for yourself. I know you will not be disappointed by any of their products.

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Habanero Cheddar Brat Pizza

If you have never been to Wisconsin, you should. I know that sounds selfish and everything, but Wisconsin is so awesome for about 5 months out of the year. I say that from an outsiders viewpoint, but being from Wisconsin, it is fairly OK, the remaining 7 months if you can survive the cold and often times harsh winter months. But during the summer months, grilling brats are a big deal. I’ve known people to say ‘I ate so many brats this past weekend that I can’t even think of eating another brat’. Brats as we know them, or bratwurst are a big deal when it comes to grilling in the summer months, and it is almost as stereotypical as it is the cheese curd or beer association for this state, and we are all OK with that. With that said, I’ll admit, I love the bratwurst. A few establishments around the city are twisting up versions of brats whether that be Philly cheesesteak brats, or chicken and feta brats. There is one brat that I totally love, and that is the habanero and cheddar brat. When grilled, it has the perfect heat, and with that said, I decided to slice a couple of them up and top them on a pizza. It was freaking killer.

Habanero and Cheddar Brat Pizza

Now if you cannot find a habanero cheddar brat, try and find a jalapeño and cheddar brat as they are equally as good, but the habanero packs in a bit more heat, with I love.

Let’s get started.

  • 1 habanero cheddar brat, grilled and sliced into 1 inch rounds
  • Your favorite pizza dough, about 14 inches in shape
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce

I’ve been playing around with pizza dough for some time now. It feels like years, trust me, it does. I think I’ve found my go to pizza dough now as I have been using my Kettle Pizza, and my pizzas are turning out fairly well. They still need work, but I’m coming close to a great dough. Regardless, use or make your favorite pizza dough.

If you do not have a Kettle Pizza, preheat your oven to 500 degrees with a pizza stone inside.

Toss and shape your pizza dough, then add the pizza sauce, just a thin amount. If you want more sauce, go for it. Top with the cheeses, and the sliced brats. Shower the top with the sliced onions.

Add the pizza to the preheated stone. I used a pizza wheel for this, lightly coated with semolina or fine cornmeal so it slides right onto the stone.

How to make a Habanero Cheddar Brat Pizza

Cook in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust is nice and cooked, and the cheese is nicely melted. If you are using a Kettle Pizza, well that is done in about 5 minutes (hence why I love that thing).

Slice and serve.

The result is everything you love in a pizza. Heck, I could even just go with the cheese and onion pizza, but the addition of the habanero cheddar brat just set this thing over the top. You think it might be a regular Italian sausage until you get that great heat from the habanero. It’s not too hot in heat, it’s just perfect and makes this pizza possibly one of my favorites.

 

If you are looking for something different to put on your pizza, give this one a shot. It’s a winner in my book. Hope you enjoy, and hope you give the brats a try, especially when visiting Wisconsin!

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