Mortadella Toasted Cheese Sandwich with Sriracha Aioli

img_8734I remember loving bologna & cheese sandwiches on white bread, conveniently put into a sandwich bag then into a paper sack with some chips and perhaps a cookie.  It would somehow sit in a locker for half the day only to be retrieved for lunch at Hampton Academy (HAJH), a small school in the seacoast of New Hampshire.  It was always a delicious lunch.

Then it happened in the North End of Boston, I had my first slice or mortadella and it was amazing with the cubed pork fat, pistachios  and peppercorns bringing bologna to an entire new level.  I was given a slice to try by the butcher and that was the gateway to my first Muffuletta Sandwich.  The trick about mortadella is all about the quality and you really have to search high and low for the proper select hunk of this fancy bologna. If the mortedella does not have pistachios then just take a pass and keep searching.  You really need to find a proper Italian deli to get your hands on the real stuff.

For this sandwich, the mix of fontina and parmesan create a tasty duo.  The spicy pickle mayo gives it a kick and surrounded by the buttery toast can make for a relaxing lunch.  I highly recommend it with Tuscan Onion Soup (Carabaccia) or Roasted Tomato, Herbs & Parmesan Soup.

Makes 4 Sandwiches 

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces of fontina cheese, grated
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/2 pound of mortadella, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup of good mayonnaise, I prefer Hellman’s
  • 3 dashes, to taste, of Sriracha
  • 3 cornichons, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh chives, chopped
  • 8 slices of pullman bread
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, at room tempertature

Making In

  • The secret about a proper grilled cheese is to cook it low and slow, so the cheese melts and the bread does not burn, so put a skillet over a low flame
  • Mix the parmesan and fontina together, set aside.  Then mix the mayonnaise, Sriracha, cornichons and chives together and set aside
  • Butter the bread and lay butter side down, slather the spice sauce on both pieces on the inside, layer the bottom with the cheese mix, a quarter of the mortadella, then more cheese and put the bread on top
  • Griddle slowly until you see the cheese begin to ooze out.  You only want to flip it once and should check to make sure it is not burning

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