Pie Irons and Grilled Cheese- Father’s Day is Coming

I have two great cookbooks for the men in your life. The first is Grilled Cheese and Beer–for those with the finer tastes in life. An erudite tour through the subtle delicacies and variations on one theme–cheesy bread. Written by Kevin VanBlarcum & James Edward Davis, this book has stratified levels of complexity and health-consciousness so there is really a grilled cheese for everyone in these pages.

My favorite is the Jalapeno Popper recipe with includes the preparation of a beer batter in which you dip the bread (of course I recommend wheat always), then you baste the toasted sides with cream cheese and sliced jalapeno. Spicy Spicy Spicy.

The book includes suggestions for how to pair your grilled cheese with the right beer– one wants to be careful to consider the mouthfeel and nasal bouquet of one’s libation, that it is complimentary to the exact stinkiness of the selected cheese. Well, may there be no more mystery or guessing game here. Grateful am I to these astute authors. My brother will love this. Izzy enjoys laying next to it while I grate cheese at the counter.

Then there is the second selection, the Dutch Oven and Cast Iron Cooking book by Peg Couch, which introduced me properly to all the various ways one can use pie irons camping style to make pie, calzones, casserole, etc. Fun to use in the backyard firepit–dinner as marshmallow. Or take backpacking with you– the pie iron can double as an impractical badminton racket or weapon. I have been cooking my bread with a Dutch Oven method for the last five years and I am a believer in the way the oven or cloche technique captures moisture and mists the surface of the bread to a thick crust.

I would consider either of these cookbooks an excellent Father’s Day gift.


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