Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Grown Up Italian Dunkers

My Aunt Chrissy is a riot.  And a freakish domestic goddess.  We spent Thanksgiving with her this year.  There were several late nights spent laughing and drinking and cleaning her out of bread and cheese.  EXCUSE ME AUNT CHRISSY LATE NIGHT GRILLED CHEESE PLEASE.  I'm so charming at 3am when I'm screaming for food while snapping my fingers like Queen Latifa. 

I don't even know if she'll remember this recipe.  She made this for me probably fifteen years ago.  At least.  I remember it vividly.  It was so different and so delicious.  I can't remember what day it is, or where I put my coffee, or where my freaking car keys are, but I remember this like it ain't no thang.

Yeah let's talk.

Here are our ingredients:

Italian or Good White Country Bread
Homemade Pesto (Quick recipe below)
Olive Oil 
Polenta (aka cornmeal) 
Whole Milk Mozzarella 
Tomato Sauce (optional - not pictured)

Pesto doesn't need to be complicated.  I threw in a clove of garlic, a handful of basil leaves, a small handful of pine nuts, a heavy pinch of sea salt and another small handful of parmesan.   I then added a heavy splash of olive oil.  That's all you gotta do.

Blend it all together in a food processor.  I would suggest making small batches.  Pesto loses that super bright summer flavor quickly.  Nothing beats freshly made pesto and it literally takes about a minute.

Brush some olive oil on the outside of the bread.

Then dip the bread in the polenta or cornmeal to you non Italians out there.

This is how it should look.  Doesn't need to be on every inch of the bread.  Some will come off when it's cooking so you just want enough to give this unbelievable crusty crunch to the outside.

Heavily spread one of the inside slices with your pesto.

And add some of your mozzarella.  I wouldn't use fresh mozz here.  I think it would be too watery.  Shredded doesn't work as well either.  You want a nice thick slab-o-cheese that will stay put and get irresistibly creamy.

Fry in a pan with a little more olive oil and then quarter it.  Ta daaaa - a fabulous finger sandwich that is just outstanding.

Take a big bite.  You know what this needs?

Some tomato sauce.  Oh my.  My my my.

This has Christmas written all over it!  Red, white, and green.  Look at me.  Mrs. Culinary Clause.  YUM.  Stay hungry!
Grown Up Italian Dunkers Recipe 

6 Slices Italian or Good White Country Bread
3 Tablespoons Homemade Pesto (Quick recipe below)
1/2 Cup Olive Oil 
1/2 Cup Polenta (aka cornmeal) 
8 oz Whole Milk Mozzarella 
Tomato Sauce (optional - not pictured)

Brush outside slices with olive oil.  Dip in polenta to coat.  Spread inside with pesto and add sliced cheese.  Fry in skillet with a little more olive oil until golden brown on outside.  Cut in quarters and serve with tomato sauce for dipping.  ENJOY!


  1. GET OUT OF HERE these look SO tasty!

  2. Wowza!!! I can't wait to try this!

  3. Redefining the grilled cheese sandwich is a worthy life's cause!

  4. A life lived in the pursuit of a more perfect grilled cheese sandwich is as life well lived!

  5. I think I need to make these tonight!


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