Think about it. What is a food that evokes warmth, happiness, security, or tranquility? Most likely it has something to do with an event or an emotion: Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies you devoured after a day of playing near the creek, Great Aunt Mae’s fried chicken and okra served at Sunday supper with the family, a generations old recipe for pot pie that your children craved on that cold winter day last week. In my opinion, the feelings associated with comfort food are what it’s all about. However, its deliciousness is a plus!
There were no lack of comfort foods from which I could have chosen. Recipes for my grandmother’s macaroni and cheese that continues to be a holiday staple, my mother’s fried chicken (a dish I craved for an entire summer spent in France while in college), or that infamous hot fudge cake from The Circle Restaurant in Portsmouth, Virginia were strong contenders. But I selected another, one from a time long ago; if you attended high school with me, you’ll know exactly what I’m writing about…
The ONLY lunch I actually enjoyed from those wonderful ladies in my high school cafeteria was a delectable grilled cheese sandwich, a bowl of warm tomato soup and the biggest, most sugary cinnamon roll you’ve ever seen. When this meal was listed on the weekly menu, I made sure there was money in my pocket, for who could resist all of that gooey goodness in the middle of a typical school day? Not me. This lunch made me very, very happy (despite the probability that the nutritional content was questionable) and I always left the cafeteria with feelings of calm and tranquility. High school shenanigans? Bring it.
Since those days, I’ve had my fair share of grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soups, and cinnamon rolls. But the grilled cheese sandwich, in all its variations, is one that I love to create at home or enjoy at a restaurant. And with a side of wine? Yes, please!
Although my comfort food selection isn’t for the grilled cheese sandwich from the good ‘ole days, you’ll appreciate this recipe for Savory Blueberry and Brie Grilled Cheese, a tasty modification, even more. With only a few ingredients and a cooking time that’s a snap, the distinctive flavor of the Brie cheese, the creamy texture of the mascarpone, the subtle sweetness of juicy blueberries, and the slightly bitter taste of the arugula create a palate sensation.
An exceptional choice of wine for pairing was the refreshing Adler Fels Chardonnay 2015 ($20). From Chardonnay grapes sourced in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley and Monterey County, I discovered aromas of juicy tropical fruit, hint of peaches, yellow flowers, and oak. Balanced and broad, its mouthwatering acidity, luscious fruit forward profile, and long, complex finish helped create a flawless complement to the unique flavors and mouthfeel of the Savory Blueberry and Brie Grilled Cheese. Perhaps there should be another food group: comfort wine!
Savory Blueberry and Brie Grilled Cheese
- 2 boxes blueberries
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 4 medium slices sourdough bread
- 4oz Brie
- 4oz mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup baby arugula
|Bring blueberries, lemon juice, zest, and thyme to a boil over medium high heat.|
|Reduce heat to medium and simmer about 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.|
|Remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes.|
|Preheat oven to 375 degrees.|
|Butter one side of each bread slice and place butter side down on an ungreased cookie sheet.|
|On the other side spread a thin layer of mascarpone cheese and top each with about 2 tablespoons blueberry spread.|
|Thinly slice Brie, keeping rind on if preferred, and evenly divide, placing on top of blueberry spread.|
|Cook sandwiches about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.|
|Remove from heat and transfer to serving dishes.|
|Top each with about 1/4 cup arugula and enjoy immediately.|
Cheers to comfort food and wine! ~ Cindy
For more recipes and wine pairings that will satisfy your need for all things “comfort”, check out the following links!
- Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla posted her Kick Ass Mac’N’ Cheese and Kung Fu Girl Columbia Valley Riesling
- Lori of Dracaena Wines wrote about Comfort Food with a Side of Wine
- Jill of l’Occasion is Cookingat Home: Affordable Bordeaux & Homemade Pasta
- Jade of Tasting Pour contributed her recipe for Croque Madame and Treveri Brut Prestige #winePW
- Nancy and Peter of Pull That Cork tempted us with Brandade de Morue and a Lovely Lirac
- Wendy from A Day in the Life of the Farm made us feel warm and cozy with Mushroom Stroganoff with MarkhamSauvignon Blanc
- David of Cooking Chat explained his Roasted Root Vegetable Soup and Wine Pairing
- Michelle of Rockin Red Blog is Finding Comfort in Food and Wine
- Lauren of The Swirling Dervish made us want to visit warmer weather for Winter Comfort Food forThose 80 Degree Days
- Sue of Palatable Pastime shared her notes for Rigatoni with Bolognese Sauce
- Gwendolyn of Wine Predator is thrilled to give us her ideas for Valentine’s Day: Share a Special Red Wine Paired With Comfort Foods with Your Sweetheart