Many moons ago my friend Dennis Kercher shared with me his favorite grilled cheese sandwich – one with smoked salmon, Gruyere, and lemon confit made from preserved lemons. I finally got around to making this fabulous sandwich, but instead of using preserved lemons (most people don’t have those sitting around), I boiled Meyer lemon slices down in salted water. Very tasty, and a great way to use up any smoked salmon left over from a weekend brunch.
- 1/2 Meyer lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 slices French bread
- 4 ounces smoked salmon
- 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, sliced or shredded
- 1 Tbsp chopped chives
1 In a small saucepan bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add a half teaspoon of salt. When the salt has dissolved, add the slices of lemon to the pan, layering them down flat in the pan. Let water boil away until it is almost all gone and there is just a thin syrup left in the pan. Do not stir while cooking. Remove from heat.
2 Heat a large cast iron pan on medium high heat. While the pan is heating, arrange the sandwiches (next step).
2 Lay out 4 slices of bread. On top of them layer slices of smoked salmon, cheese, and chives. Use a fork to lift the lemon slices out of the pan and add one large lemon slice to each sandwich. Top with a second layer of bread.
3 Butter the top bread slices generously with butter. Once the pan is hot, place the sandwiches in the pan, butter side down. Lower the heat to medium. Let cook for a few minutes until the bottom of the sandwiches are well toasted.
4 Butter the top side of the sandwiches in the pan. Use a metal spatula to flip the sandwiches over. Press down on the sandwiches with the metal spatula. Let cook until the bottom of the sandwiches is nicely browned. If the cheese isn't melting, turn the heat to low, cover the pan and let cook for a few minutes more.