Monday, October 29, 2012

Dining In - Aurora Borealis

Vegan grilled cheese vegocracy aurora borealis
Aurora Borealis - Grilled "Cheese" Sandwich
VegNews' Most Decadent Vegan Recipes Ever
This is one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I've ever had, and what's incredible is that it's still vegan! I found this gourmet sandwich recipe in a VegNews article "The 13 Most Decadent Vegan Recipes Ever" which I immediately bookmarked :) It fooled the judges and won 3rd place amongst real dairy filled sandwiches at the 10th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational. Brandy-soaked peaches, vegan cream cheese, Daiya mozzarella - this sweet medley of flavors is sandwiched between two delicious maple-butter soaked slices of bread and topped with a berry reduction. Even the name is awesome, Aurora Borealis! Here is the recipe with some of my added tips. First tip - save enough time before your meal to prep, you'll need it!

2 slices of artisan bread (the recipe called for sourdough, but I used Tuscan Pane, an Italian bread from Trader Joe's instead, labeled vegan!)

2 tablespoons Earth Balance or vegan margarine
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons Daiya mozzarella shreds
3 tablespoons Trader Joe's This is Not a Tub of Cream Cheese
1/2 peach sliced (and soaked in equal parts simple syrup and brandy)
1 lb. of fresh berries (I used 2/3 blackberries, 1/3 raspberries)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice

Ingredients for Aurora Borealis


Berry Reduction: 
In a large bowl, combine berries, sugar, and orange juice. Mash with a fork and let set for at about an hour.
Pour berry mixture into a medium sauce pan, heat on low. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes, until sauce thickens.
Strain out large bits and seeds (I skipped this part). Let cool and refrigerate leftovers in a jar (shelf life is about a week).
Preparation of the Sandwich:
In a large skillet melt 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup over medium-high heat.

Place two slices of bread into pan with melted margarine and syrup, remove after about a minute. Add another tablespoon of margarine and maple syrup to the skillet and place the dry side of the bread slices into the melted mixture. 

Let bread cook until golden brown. Watch closely as the sugar caramelizes quickly and you can easily burn the bread.

Flip the bread and quickly add the 3 tablespoons of Daiya cheese on only one slice of the bread. Smear 3 tablespoons of vegan cream cheese on the other slice of bread.

Add sliced peach onto the cream cheese covered slice.

Flip Daiya covered bread slice on top of the other to create a sandwich. Continue to cook, flipping once, until both sides are crispy and browned.
Remove sandwich from skillet. Cut in half and drizzle with Berry Reduction.

All the time and effort is worth it!

Read more about this recipe on the chef's blog:

The Award-Winning Aurora Borealis 

1 comment:

  1. You know I'll have to try this at home. Maybe they put a secret ingredient in there that they haven't mentioned to you. This looks delicious. When I saw the picture I was like, what's that on top?

    Berries and grilled cheese? That sounds addictive. I bet they get a lot people going there over and over just to have a taste of that sandwich.


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