When we were visiting my in-laws recently, we got talking about cheese. Most every night before dinner, we enjoy cheese and crackers when we are with them. Given the flavor journey I have been working on with Sargento Cheese, it was only natural that we talked about cheese a little more than usual!
One evening, we started talking about new and different ways to enjoy cheese. The guys had all sorts of crazy ideas, such as sprinkling a whole lot of cheese in a frying pan and, well, frying it. Truth be told, that concept is not all that crazy. It works. I actually make Cheese Crisps this way, and through previous experiments, have found this works with more cheeses than one might think and can be done in the microwave.
My husband suggested grilling the cheese. While we have grilled a particular variety of cheese called haloumi, I assured him that most other cheese would simply melt through the grill grates! But that got me to thinking about what I could wrap around Sargento’s snack cheeses for an easy hors d’oeuvre. Prosciutto seemed like the perfect cover for both practicality and taste. It could be wrapped easily to encase the cheese and, I hoped, become a little crispy before the cheese became completely gooey. A little gooey, of course, was the idea! I hoped the cheese would be contained by the prosciutto and create a sort of modern take on a mozzarella stick.
As it turned out, this simple combination was a complete hit with the kids and adults. These are easy to prepare in any quantity and make a great last-minute appetizer when company comes. Since one of my trends is bitter greens, it occurred to me I could put a hint of fresh herbs between the cheese and the prosciutto. I couldn’t quite make mustard or turnip greens work with this one…maybe I just didn’t want to! But even if you skip the greens altogether, I think you will enjoy!
- Sargento String Cheese, very cold (could also use Provolone Mozzarella or variety of choice)
- Prosciutto, very thinly sliced (2 pieces for every 1 string cheese)
- Optional: fresh basil, slivered
- Unwrap the cheese, and cut each stick in half so you have two short pieces.
- Wrap one piece of prosciutto around each cheese half, being careful to completely cover all the cheese, including the ends. If you have small pieces of prosciutto that break off, use those to shore up the ends. The prosciutto is "sticky" enough that you should not have to secure with a toothpick. If desired, you may place a small amount of the slivered basil between the cheese and the prosciutto.
- Grill over medium heat, turning frequently, until the outsides become slightly crisp and the cheese becomes gooey. This will only take a couple of minutes.
- Remove to a platter, cool slightly, and enjoy!
- I find it easiest to work with prosciutto within the first couple days of purchasing. Because the slices are so delicate, they tend to stick to one another and tear more easily after they have sat in the fridge for a few days. Fresh pieces of prosciutto will separate easily and, thus, be less likely to tear. In turn, the cheese will not be as likely to ooze out.