There’s an ongoing joke among some of my friends that when Aaron is traveling I turn into a total bachelor. When he’s home, I love to cook. I’m making his favorite turkey chili, trying out new soup recipes, finding new ways to cook fish, and baking up batches of baked pumpkin donuts. When he’s gone? It’s more like cheese, wine, a baguette, a bowl of cereal, or a turkey sandwich. Suffice it to say he’s been traveling a lot lately and these three-cheese “ghouled cheese” sandwiches with tomato basil soup that yum.LA cooked up for our Minted Halloween party looks super scrumptious right about now! Here’s how to make these fun Halloween treats at home…
“Ghouled” Cheese Sandwiches – serves 4
- 8 slices sourdough bread, or another dense bread of your choosing!
- 12 – 16 oz. (1 ½ – 2 cups) Pepper Jack Cheese, thinly sliced
- 12 – 16 oz. (1 ½ – 2 cups) Swiss Cheese, thinly sliced
- 12 – 16 oz. (1 ½ – 2 cups) Medium Cheddar Cheese, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup olive oil
Using a ghost-shaped cookie cutter, or any shape you like, punch out the shapes from each slice of bread.
Melt butter and combine with olive oil. Brush onto one side of each slice of bread. On a griddle or in a pan, put one slice of bread (buttery side down) and layer with some of each type of cheese (about 1 ½ slices per sandwich). Top with another piece of bread (buttery side up), making sure the shapes line up, and grill on each side to desired crunchiness/until golden brown.
Creamy Tomato Soup with a Basil Chiffonade – serves 4
- 2 cups (16 oz) canned whole tomatoes, crushed
- 2 cups (16 oz) chicken stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 6 -7 fresh basil leaves, rinsed
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Combine tomatoes and stock in saucepan. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Using a hand-held immersion blender, puree soup in pot until you reach a consistency you like (I prefer a half pureed, half chunk tomato combination!). If you don’t have one of these nifty tools, you should grab one, but you can also puree in small batches in a blender or food processor. Return to saucepan and add cream and butter, while stirring, over low heat.
To chiffonade basil: take 5-6 fresh leaves and stack them, one on top of the other. Roll like a burrito and with a sharp knife, cut thin slices (perpendicular to the roll, so if you were to unroll the leaves, you’d be cutting lengthwise). Repeat with remaining leaves.
Garnish with basil leaves, season to taste, and serve with fresh, crusty bread!
It’s the perfect pre-trick-or-treating bite!
Photos by Stephanie Godfrey
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