Cheese and Truffle Croque
Serve with red wine sauce to dip it in.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
for the red wine "pho" sauce:
2 garlic cloves, skin-on
1 yellow onion, quartered
1 (3-inch) piece ginger, sliced into rounds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
4 whole cloves
2 pieces star anise
1 black cardamom pod, cracked
2 cups red wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 small bunch cilantro
1 small bunch Thai basil
1 red chili, stemmed and thinly sliced
for the sandwich:
4 tablespoons good quality black truffle paste (don't get cheap stuff or else it will taste like the devil's soul)
8 slices cheap-ass white bread
8 1/2 ounces Tunworth cheese, sliced
a jar of pickled walnuts
1. Make the red wine "pho" sauce: Heat a medium cast-iron skillet over high. Add the garlic, onion, and ginger and cook until blackened, about 8 minutes.
2. Add the fennel seeds, cloves, star anise, and cardamom and toast an additional 2 minutes.
3. Add the red wine and vinegar and cook until reduced by half, about 8 minutes.
4. Add the beef stock and reduce by half again, an additional 10 minutes.
5. Whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, until emulsified. Remove from the heat and add in the cilantro, basil, and chili and allow to infuse for 30 minutes and up to an hour before straining. Reheat gently to serve.
6. Make the sandwiches: Spread 4 slices of bread with the truffle paste. Arrange the walnuts and cheese over the top and finish with the other slice of bread. Spread the outside of each sandwich (top and bottom) with mayonnaise.
7. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add each sandwich and toast, flipping once, until browned on each side and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Serve with the red wine sauce to dip it in.