Ode to the Caseus Cheese Truck

By • May 19, 2011 • 50 Comments

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Author Notes: The best grilled cheese I’ve ever eaten was from the Caseus Cheese Truck in New Haven, CT. Golden, crispy sourdough bread, a mixture of melty cheeses, some good mustard, those little fancy pickles, and a glass-bottled Coke. Here’s my version. You can customize the cheapness of this sandwich to what’s in your cheese drawer. I happened to find some Gruyere, sharp cheddar and robiola that needed to be used up. I make this for the kids all the time, minus the sage leaves, with plain old yellow American cheese in the plastic wrappers. It’s got superior meltability. - mrslarkinmrslarkin

Food52 Review: We tend to think of grilled cheese as comfort food at its simplest, but the little touches here -- a few sage leaves, a grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano, a dollop of grainy Dijon and a garnish of bright little cornichons -- add up to a very sophisticated treat. Be sure to use the best sourdough you can find, and don't forget to wash it all down with an ice-cold bottle of Coke. - KukharkaKukharka

Serves one

  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 ounces shredded or thinly sliced cheese of your choice (soft or semi-hard melty cheese only)
  • unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Parmigiano Reggiano, grated with a microplane grater
  • cornichons, or regular pickles
  • whole grain mustard
  1. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium/medium-low heat. Spread one side of bread with butter -- don't be shy. Press two sage leaves on the butter, and swipe the leaves with a little more butter so they adhere. Repeat with second slice of bread.
  2. Lay one slice of bread in hot pan, butter and sage side down. Place cheese on the bread in the pan. Top with second slice of bread, butter and sage side up. Grill for a few minutes. You’ll hear the butter start to sizzle. Carefully check bottom of sandwich; you’re looking for golden-brown.
  3. With a spatula, carefully flip the sandwich, and cook for another few minutes, again looking for golden-brown. Sprinkle the top of the sandwich with half of the Parmigiano, making sure to cover the sage leaves. Flip the sandwich back over and cook for a few seconds to crisp the Parmigiano. (Don’t leave it too long or the Parmigiano will burn.) Sprinkle the rest of the Parmigiano on the top slice and flip once more to crisp that side -- a few more seconds and you’re done!
  4. Serve with cornichons, or their cheaper cousin the dill pickle, mustard, and a cold glass-bottled Coke.
Jump to Comments (50)

Tags: grilled cheese

Comments (50) Questions (0)

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7 months ago wahini

At Trader Joe's--right now but not always--you can get a crumbly melty cheddar with bits of caramelized onions in it. You can also get--always--Asiago and pepper corn sour dough bread. Together these two make delightful grilled cheese sandwiches--or if you are in a hurry or cutting down on bread just toast one side of the bread, then barely toast the other side, add the grated or crumbled cheese , and broil until melted and golden. Yum.

2007-09-11e-s4

about 2 years ago WileyP

Okay, so who in their right mind would put a whole sage leave on a sandwich and then fry it..much less FOUR of them! Well, I have had this recipe in my "to do" file for some time and I happened to notice that my sister has a sage plant that has grown out of control. So I stole a bunch, headed home and cooked one of these up for dinner last night. Well, kinda, anyway! After all, "a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do," and if you don't have sourdough on hand, you use what you have. In my case it was Jewish Rye. That and some grated gouda as a filler. It was spactacular! I liked it so much, I'm going to stick a slice of pre-fried ham on it tonight and see if I end up with a new favorite sandwich! Thank you for yet another big-time winner recipe, mrslarkin!

Mrs._larkin_370

about 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yup, that would be me, pushing the grilled cheese envelope. Hee! I'm so glad you liked it, WileyP! You're very welcome. Your ham idea sounds pretty darn good. Let us know how it turns out!

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about 2 years ago EmilyC

Your crisper salad with grilled cheese croutons reminded me how much I've been wanting to try these. Made them tonight -- LOVE! Have a feeling I'll be making these a ton this fall and winter with soup (this dipped into butternut squash soup would be amazing) and salad. Thanks a million for the recipe.

Mrs._larkin_370

about 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

thanks Emily! So glad you enjoyed it. Butternut squash soup - oh yes!

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about 2 years ago EmilyC

Made these again last night to go along with butternut squash soup...divine!

Mrs._larkin_370

about 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yummmm! Save me some; I'll be over soon. ;)

Gaga

about 2 years ago rachel waters

Made this last night w/a few tweaks such as olive tapenade spread we had leftover from a party & switched out a coke for a seasonal pumpkin beer...DELISH! Thank you.

Mrs._larkin_370

about 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yummm! That sounds so good. Hooray for pumpkin beer!

Chopsticks

about 2 years ago tylermmcdon

Perfection. I'm going to have to make a pilgrimage to Caseus sometime soon, I think.

Mrs._larkin_370

about 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Thanks Tyler. It is seriously worth the schlep to New Haven!

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7 months ago Jenny Chavira

the grilled cheese in the restaurant (Caseus cheese shop/bistro) is even better than from the truck. and you also have the choice of the world's greatest mac & cheese (bacon optional). some of us are lucky enough to live in the area and have the owner as an across the street neighbor!

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I love this sandwich, the best grilled cheese ever. I have made it several times and use different types of cheese even Kraft singles (love them) I really love deanna's idea of gazpacho. Tomato soup and grilled cheese is the best and the gazpacho is perfect.

Mrs._larkin_370

about 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Thank you, sdebrango. Also really good - velveeta!

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh yes!!

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about 2 years ago deanna1001

Made this for dinner with a bowl of gazpacho on the side. I could've eaten at least three of them! Great recipe. Thanks!

Mrs._larkin_370

about 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

You're welcome, deanna1001. Gazpacho sounds very yummy with this sandwich!

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about 2 years ago teamom

Constructive criticism - one wants the sage flavour, but sage leaves are often just too tough to swallow. Think ahead - make a compound butter and use that. Even better - wrap a stick of butter in sage leaves, let it draw for a few days (or longer, for a stronger flavour), and use that to spread on the bread for a flavourful but more subtle effect. This method is used in France with rose petals - a vessel is lined with the leaves, the fresh butter is added, packed, and let draw. The butter often accompanies delicate pastries...
The butter freezes well.
When my kids were young, one way of getting them to eat "greens" was to bread or batter sage leaves. Crispy fried sage leaves (crumbed) would enhance this dish. Then serve fruit.

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about 2 years ago Jan Strong

I like your idea.

Mrs._larkin_370

about 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yum! Great ideas.

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

about 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Love this recipe! I have never lived in New Haven, but have many friends, and my sons have many friends, who live or have lived there. From what I've heard, the Caseus Cheese Truck ranks up there, in a town with dozens of truly stellar food options, as one of the best. I've been making a lot of sourdough with my wild yeast levain this summer, and we have a cheese drawer full of interesting odds and ends, so these are on the lunch menu for Saturday! Congrats on the CP, mrsl! ;o)

Mrs._larkin_370

about 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Thank you very much, AJ! Your homemade sourdough will be amazing in this sandwich.

I think it's time for another New Haven road trip for my family! We pretty much go up there on an empty stomach, and then all hell breaks loose. ;)

Lorigoldsby

about 2 years ago lorigoldsby

I meant to tell you that this sandwich made it into HEAVY rotation last fall! I used a truffle cheese...and my panini maker. Sometimes i added a couple of pieces of maple bacon. the sage was a wonderful compliment to that!

Mrs._larkin_370

about 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

thanks Lori! truffle cheese sounds amazing! And mmmm...bacon!I love this sandwich and how the sage and cheese crisps up.

Noz_photo

about 2 years ago nzle

Oof, I LOVE the Caseus truck! I will have to try this.

Mrs._larkin_370

about 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

so very tasty, that truck! Good thing i don't live closer, or I'd be there every day.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Thanks, lapadia!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

That's some photo, mrslarkin...Yum!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Mmmmmmmmmmm. Dream food!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Thanks 5&S!

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over 3 years ago ellenl

My eyes popped, my mouth watered, and my stomach growled looking at the photo and reading the recipe/post!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Thanks, ellenl!

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over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Looks heavenly, sour dough bread, cheese the most handsome grilled cheese I have ever seen.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Thank you so much, sdebrango!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Grilled bread, melty cheese, doesn't get much better than that.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Thanks, boulangere.

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Late to this party, but LOVE!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

thanks, gingerroot!

Me

over 3 years ago wssmom

My kids will adore this!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Hee! I hope they like it!! Let me know what the verdict is.

Newliztoqueicon-2

over 3 years ago Lizthechef

Great photo - and now I'm definitely ready for lunch...

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Thanks, Liz. Is this better than the lobster pictures?? ;)