Transforming a Charcuterie Board into Adult Grilled Cheese by Frank Edgington

Seattle Foodie Empire Member and popular Instagrammer Frank Edgington (mrfrankstagram) shares how he went from making a charcuterie board to adult grilled cheese. Thank you Frank this is brilliant!


Seattle foodie frank edgington and anthony bourdain

Seattle foodie frank edgington and anthony bourdain

Adult Grilled Cheese by Frank Edgington

The power of social media is a wonderful thing and it can help you deliver an out of the park awesome adult grilled cheese sandwich that is guaranteed to swoon any person who might be consuming it.

Over the holidays, salami from ‘Nduja Artisans made its way to me courtesy of a fellow Instagrammer, Temp6868, who was running a contest/promotion with ‘Nduja. I was busy traveling for work and didn’t have a chance to give the proper attention and diligence that the salami deserved until a couple weeks into the new year. I actually received two types: their Nduja which is a spicy spreadable salami and Finocchiona (fennel pollen) salami. 

Charcuterie with Beecher's Handmade Cheese and Nduja Artisans via Frank Edgington

My first thought was to make a charcuterie board and I needed some cheese. I actually got the charcuterie idea from Julesfood’s Instagram and figured I needed to get some olives and cheeses. What better way to pair some delicious salami than with Seattle’s own Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. I picked up the Marco Polo which has green and black peppercorns ground and mixed in. I also picked up the No Woman which uses Jamaican Jerk spices. Both had a visual appeal and I knew from past experience with Beecher’s that it would be all things delicious.

I wanted some bread because I thought it would be a good idea to make grilled cheese also with this. I picked up the Rosemary Diamante bread since I used to make my own grilled cheese based on the now closed Elliott Bay Café that used this bread and a few other noted ingredients I often used for grilled cheese.

I first setup the salumi board and sampled all the meats, cheeses, and olives. I said to myself after sampling them that this was going to make an awesome sandwich. Even more so, the Nduja, which is the spreadable spicy salami, was going to take me to grilled cheese heaven. 

Frank Edgington on transforming a charcuterie board into a grilled cheese sandwich...

Why Just Stop at Meat and Cheese?

I always start on low heat to help melt and warm up the ingredients. I then gradually turn up the heat to get the golden crispy.
— Frank Edgington (on making grilled cheese)

I took it a step further to sauté up some baby kale with garlic to add a “healthy” component to the sandwich. More selfishly, I figured the contrast of the color would be good for a food photograph and help acquire some dopamine from the likes I may receive on Instagram after it’s posted. I layered the bottom half with the Marco Polo cheese. I put the sautéed kale and Nduja in the middle and covered the top half with the No Woman cheese. With both sides of the Rosemary Diamante bread buttered, it was ready for the pan on low. I always start on low heat to help melt and warm up the ingredients. I then gradually turn up the heat to get the golden crispy. The end result was a mouthwatering, delicious and satisfying adult grilled cheese where the layers of flavors made your eyes roll into the back of your head.

Frank Edgington Quote on Adult Grilled Cheese

Why Stop There?

I also picked up some pancetta from the store and wanted to make a more simple version with that. I followed the same process with the Marco Polo and No Woman cheese and used the same bread. This was a lighter, more cheesy flavored grilled cheese. 

When you take some of the finest ingredients you can get your hands on and make a comfort food classic, you’re definitely going to be happy with the result. When I think of cook inspiration, I usually fall back to what Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) and Anthony Bourdain say, "It doesn’t have to be fancy to be good. Just use good things to make good food." I can’t recall a better grilled cheese or even a better sandwich that I’ve had. European Italian style salami mixed in with a few local Seattle favorites. Be sure to order your salami from 'Nduja Artisans and please any crowd.