How To: Throw a Grilled Cheese Party

For the Paquiao vs Margarito fight this past weekend Andrew and I threw a grilled cheese party.  We have been wanting to do this for quite a while but needed a reason to do so.  The fight provided the perfect opportunity.  As much as I love food and fashion I love hosting just as much.  Read along and I'll tell you how to pull it off.
1. Choose your ingredients
You can use whatever ingredients you like but think about what pairs well together.  For example ciabatta, mozzarella, basil and tomato make a great grilled caprese sandwich.  Make a French sammy with brie and apple slices in between two French baguette slices.  Create a melty buffalo chicken and blue cheese sandwich.

Here is what we used:
Cheeses: Brie, Blue Stilton, Iberico, Gouda, Mozzarella, Sharp Cheddar.
Breads: French, Ciabatta, Asiago crusted Ciabatta, Honey Wheat.
Meats: Coppa, Salami, Ham, Prosciutto. 
Fillings: bacon, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, basil, apple slices, pear slices.
Dessert: bananas, Nutella, whipped marshmallow, honey.


2. Set up the table
I set it up as a casual, "serve yourself" style sandwich bar.  The guests could build their sandwich to their liking and then brush butter (or olive oil for the health conscious) on the outside slices and grill them in a panini press.  Because we were watching a boxing match I found the George Foreman grill appropriate to use.
  • Remember to bring your cheeses to room temperature for optimal taste, chill your white wine and aerate your reds.  
  • Provide each cheese with its own knife so that the flavors don't get intermingled between each slice.  Also, space out the different cheeses so that there is cutting room.
  • Labels.  Not everyone knows their cheeses like you do.  Providing descriptions and suggested pairings will help make a tasty sandwich fool-proof.
  • Place suggested pairings close to one another.  For example place the brie near the fruit, the blue cheese near the meats, and the Nutella near the bananas and honey.
3. Sit back and enjoy
The minimal cooking and prepping needed for this party lets you really enjoy your party.  This was the easiest party to host.  I bought most of the cheese pre-sliced and I asked the baker to slice the baguettes for me.  I just set everything out and people served and grilled for themselves.  Clean up was a breeze too because everyone finished mostly everything.
a choice of butter or oil spread before grilling
I even made bruschetta by grilling oiled up ciabatta and topping it with prosciutto, basil, fresh tomato then sprinkling it with s+p.
Johnny's sandwich had everything in it but the kitchen sink.
Here are little tidbits you can add to your grilled cheese party.  Provide a couple different types of tomato soups for dipping.  There's nothing that pairs better with a grilled cheese sandwich than tomato soup.  Ask people to bring their favorite wines.  It is a great conversation starter and a great way to learn about different wines.

Of course Manny Paquiao won the fight.  He is featured on our shirts here designed by Loded.

5 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh. Greatest idea ever! I absolutely love it. So fun! :)

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  2. This is the best! I love entertaining and grilled cheese...I am so doing this! Thanks so much!

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  3. Awesome! let me know how it turns out if you guys decide to do it.

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  4. Nice! Thanks for the 411 for my next party!

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