Fancy Grilled Cheese Jess 2.05 Nick & Nora, Sid & Nancy


“Maybe I should make grilled cheese.” “But you're making pot roast.” “But not everybody likes pot roast.” “Well, then they can have the chicken wings, the mashed potatoes, the four different kinds of salad that you're making in addition to the pot roast.” “Yeah, I guess you're right.” “So I should start slicing the cheese?” “Would you? Oh, that'd be great.”


Ingredients:

For the ciabatta bread:

  • 1 tsp of active, dry yeast

  • 1 cup of lukewarm water

  • 2 ½ cups of flour

  • 1 tsp of salt

For the grilled cheese:

  • 1 small loaf of ciabatta bread

  • 2 slices of gruyere cheese

  • 2 slices of gouda cheese

  • 2 slices of medium sharp cheddar cheese

  • 2 slices of prosciutto

  • 2 cross-section slices of granny smith apple

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

For the ciabatta bread:

*I have not mastered the art of breadmaking yet, so I found a helpful recipe for ciabatta recipe from Ahead of Thyme.*

  1. Mix the yeast into the lukewarm water and sit for about two minutes to allow the yeast to activate and become foamy in the water.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Pour in the yeast water and mix until fully combined. Since this is a really sticky dough, you don’t need a dough hook. It might actually be easier to mix by hand with a spatula.

  3. Leave the dough in the bowl and cover the bowl. Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes.

  4. Uncover the bowl. Using your hands, scoop underneath the dough to fold it in on itself. Repeat this for all four sides of the dough. This is easier if you get your hands wet first.

  5. Allow the dough to rest for an additional 30 minutes and repeat the process of folding the dough.

  6. Complete this process one more time, resting for 30 more minutes and folding it again.

  7. On a lightly floured surface, pour the dough out of the bowl. It should be a similar consistency to thick slime.

  8. Carefully shape the dough into a log about 6 inches wide and a foot long. You’ll want floured hands to make this easier. Don’t roll the dough because you want to keep the air inside.

  9. Separate the dough into four equal pieces using a knife or a bench scraper. Place the pieces on a lined baking sheet. Cover and allow to rise for an additional hour to double in size.

  10. When the dough is almost done rising, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Fill a large baking pan with water and place on the bottom rack. This creates steam for when your bread is baking.

  11. After the dough is done rising, sprinkle with a bit of water and place on the top shelf. Bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. The bread will form a firm, golden brown crust when done.

  12. To check if your bread is done, gently tap on the bottom with your knuckles. It will sound hollow.

For the grilled cheese:

  1. Slice one of your ciabatta breads in half lengthwise to make two slices of bread.

  2. Place a slice of gouda, gruyere, and cheddar cheese on one slice of bread. Place two slices of prosciutto on top of the cheese. Then place two slices of apple on top of the prosciutto.

  3. Add an additional slice of each type of cheese on top of the apple. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Top with the other slice of bread.

  4. Heat a skillet over medium heat or set a griddle to 300 degrees.

  5. While the skillet or griddle is heating up, spread a thin layer of mayonnaise to the outside of both slices of bread. This creates a crispier, more flavorful grilled cheese. Trust me!

  6. Cook your sandwich over medium heat for about 2-4 minutes per side, allowing the bread to become a dark brown, and the cheese to completely melt.

This is what the ciabatta dough looks like after you fold it.

Obviously, for a Sookie St. James grilled cheese, we’re not slapping some American cheese slices between two pieces of white bread. Now if you don’t want to go through the hassle of making your own bread, that’s perfectly okay! Any good crusty bread will do. I love the tangy and sour flavors of the granny smith apple mixing with the smoked flavors of the cheeses and the saltiness of the prosciutto. There is a lot of flavor packed into this grilled cheese, and I don’t think Sookie would have it any other way.


Sometimes, when I sit down to figure out which dish I’m going to make for a particular episode, I don’t have much to choose from. Then there are episodes like this one where I have so many to choose from. Of course, Sookie makes a huge feast for Jess’s welcome to Stars Hollow meal. I almost went with pot roast, but considering I’ve never made pot roast, nor really care for it, I went with her backup plan which happens to be one of my favorite comfort foods, a grilled cheese.

Oh boy, oh boy, it’s Jess Mariano's debut episode. I will be sharing my opinions on Jess throughout my blog posts because he’s a highly lauded character in the fandom and I can’t get all my thoughts on Jess in one post. Let me start by saying I am not Team Jess. And before you come for me with your pitchforks, there are episodes and times in the series in which I am Team Jess. Over my many many viewings of this show, my opinion of Jess has ebbed and flowed. And as we go through the next couple seasons with Jess, I’ll share how my opinion of Jess changes from episode to episode.

I think we should rename ciabatta to little pockets of joy.

Overall, my stance on Jess is that I don’t think season 2/3 Jess was good enough for Rory, but that season 6/AYITL Rory wasn’t good enough for Jess. To me, their relationship was needed because they both pushed each other to be better, but I don’t think their relationship was healthy. To be honest, I don’t think any of Rory’s relationships were actually healthy. Maybe they could end up together in the end, but Rory needs to be single for a while after she has her baby to do a lot of growing and maturing like Lorelai did after she had Rory. Buuuuut I do think Jess is the best looking of Rory’s contenders, so there’s that.


I will say, I think the cards are stacked against Jess. His father left him (when that actually takes place changes over the course of the show) and his mom is not exactly stable. He’s absolutely brilliant, but he’s not challenged at school, so he easily gets bored. There are episodes in which I absolutely love Jess and I root for him and Rory, but then he does things that frustrate me to no end (and we’ll get to that when those episodes come up). This episode is a prime example of I both love and hate Jess.

Not going to lie, I was so quick to try one of these that I hate it before snapping a photo!

I get it. He’s shipped off to live in this quirky, odd town with his uncle who was zero parenting advice. He gets to be mad. I almost always giggle when Elvis Costello's 'This is Hell’ plays when Jess arrives in Stars Hollow and the camera pans across the town square. But why does he have to take all his teenage angst out on Luke? And his attitude towards Lorelai when she invites him over for dinner is uncalled for. But we do get one of my all-time favorite scenes in all of Gilmore Girls in this episode when Luke pushes Jess into the lake, ICONIC!

Pile your grilled cheese fixin's high!

The scene that gets me though, and would make me Team Jess if he was better at communication is when Jess returns Rory’s books and tells her he wrote in the margins. That quality of Jess’s is so perfect for Rory. She needs to be with an intellectual, someone she can talk about books with and exchange novels. But I don’t think Jess being an avid reader makes him automatically qualify to be a good match for Rory. He needs maturing (which he definitely does), but so does she (which she still does even after AYITL).

I personally don't like my grilled cheese very dark, so cook yours to your liking.

We get a little closure with Max in this episode or at least Rory does. She has to interview him for The Franklin for being named most popular teacher. They have a really sweet moment where she tells him she wanted him to be her stepfather and he reciprocates the sentiment. Even though I don’t really think Rory wanted him to be her stepfather, the gesture is still sweet. Speaking of Rory’s writing, one of her only good pieces that are discussed in the series is in this episode: the repaving of the faculty parking lot. I never really thought about this until listening to Gilmore Guys, but Rory doesn’t have many great writing moments on the show which begs the question, is she actually a good writer? What are your thoughts on Rory’s writing abilities?

There is something really satisfying about eating grilled cheese with homemade bread.

Thank you for being patient with me as I get this post out. Being without power and fresh water for the better part of a week put me behind in my cooking schedule. I also have some things going on in my personal life, so I wanted to focus on that first. I do want to get back to a regular posting schedule, but it just might take a little bit to get back to that. And that’s okay! I’m doing this blog just to have fun and we don’t play by the rules here. Hope you all are taking care!


Happy Cooking!

Grilled cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods.

If you missed what I made last episode, catch up here!

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I'm currently cooking my way through Gilmore Girls one episode at a time. I appreciate your support of my journey!

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