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August 21, 2014

Gourmet Grilled Cheese Panini with Ivanhoe Cheddar #GayLeaFoods

Cheese is a staple in our home. It's not uncommon for us to have at least 3-4 cheeses in our fridge at any given time. It's our go-to snack while waiting for dinner, our apres supper dessert, our late night munchie. Parmeggiano, Gorgonzola, Bocconcini, Cheddar, Asiago, Piave -- we love it all and we eat it all.

I also love sampling new and different cheeses and have a great time at the specialty cheese section of the supermarket. If I'm in a cheesy mood, it's not uncommon for me to spend an upwards of $30-40 on new cheese selections. One brand I had never tried was Ivanhoe -- until now.

Ivanhoe Cheese is an Ontario-based cheese manufacturer that has been around for nearly 30 years. About 5 years ago, they joined forces with Gay Lea Foods. They make everything from specialty cheddars to gouda and mozzarella, and thousands visit their factory each year in the Hamlet of Ivanhoe (just north of Belleville). 

Seeing as cheese is such a part of our every-day living, I wanted to sample the Ivanhoe cheese in the best way I could -- au natural. The Ivanhoe Old Sharpe Cheddar is moist and almost crumbly; it's buttery and smooth, a bit salty and delicious. Isabelle loved it right away; I knew we had a winner.

So I decided to use the cheese to make a twist on a fan-favourite for dinner: Gourmet Grilled Cheese Panini.

For these Grilled Cheese Panini, you will need:
  • Ivanhoe Old Sharpe Cheddar
  • Prosciutto slices
  • Arugala or other delicate lettuce
  • Ciabatta bread
  • Panini Press (not necessary but helpful)
This isn't much of a recipe, because, well, it's a sandwich. Unlike a traditional grilled cheese, I didn't use buttered toast bread, but you totally could. I opted for a truffle ciabatta loaf, layered lots of prosciutto, slices of the cheddar and topped it with arugala. Then I pressed the panini in my press for about a minute to melt the cheese and the prosicutto together. If you don't have a press, you could toast in the oven for a few minutes. 

This is such an easy sandwich, loaded with flavour and there are so many options to customize it to your own liking. But, if your two-year-old enjoys it, go with it! Winner, winner! Gourmet Grilled Cheese Dinner!

Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Ambassador Program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own

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