Kashkaval Grilled Cheese with Beef Salami and Arugula
In our new neighborhood in Queens, there are lots of little shops to explore. Our old 'hood on the Upper West Side definitely had a lot to offer—from Central Park nearby, to the best bagel shops a girl could ask for—but I'm really enjoying all of the ethnic alcoves tucked away into Sunnyside and Woodside. From Peruvian chicken joints, to some of the best Thai food in the city, to authentic Irish pubs with a selection of roasts on Sundays, it's easy to get lost in the flavors of Queens. You're less likely to find the trendy spots you'll see in Brooklyn, or hit on the bustling Manhattan feel, but in terms of food quality and diversity, there's nothing like this borough.
There are a few Eastern European markets in the area that I'm starting to love. Parrot Market, which two of my sisters have always frequented for its babkas and coffees, has a huge selection of delicious cheeses and sweets native to areas like Romania, Turkey, Serbia or Albania. We stop by to pick up pistachio baklava and kashkaval, probably one of my most favorite cheeses. They also have great smoked fish and sometimes we even indulge in a small bit of caviar.
A few blocks away is another Romanian-owned shop, this one primarily serving sausages. Cured, smoked meats as well as fresh sausages are available by the pound and you can sample pretty much everything before buying. It's a special spot for this salami-lover.
With some ingredients from these shops in my recent grocery haul, I put together this delicious grilled cheese sandwich. The kashkaval melts perfectly and the smoked beef salami contributed a meaty flavor, but without as much grease as traditional pork sausages. I also sauteed up some arugula I found in the back of my fridge. (If you have it, which I didn't, I'd recommend a quick swipe of fig jam; it would really bring the whole sandwich together.) Anyway, simple but indulgent and very delicious—as Dan said, "you could charge, like, $9 for this!"
Kashkaval Grilled Cheese
- 6 ounces Kashkaval Cheese
- 2 cups Arugula
- 1 teaspoon Olive OIl
- 4 slices Sourdough Bread
- 6 slices Beef Salami
- 4 teaspoons Butter, at room temperature
- salt, pepper
- Grate cheese and set aside. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in oil and arugula. Quickly sautee until arugula is wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
- Remove arugula from pan and set aside. Wipe skillet clean to remove any stray pieces of arugula. Set back on heat on medium-high.
- Assemble sandwiches. Put a quarter of the cheese on a slice of sourdough. Top with half of the arugula, 3 slices of salami and top with another quarter of the cheese. (In total, each sandwich is using half of the cheese that you've grated). Spread a teaspoon of butter on outside of each side of the sandwich. Repeat assembly for second sandwich.
- Place sandwiches side by side in hot skillet and cook until bread has developed a golden crust and all of the cheese is melted, flipping halfway.
- Cut in half and serve hot.