Do you like grilled cheese? Ok, we admit, that’s like asking if you like to breathe. OF COURSE you like grilled cheese. Grilled cheese with tomato soup was the backbone of many an American childhood. Well, a Cheese Frenchee is a grilled cheese only kicked up about
thirteen notches. Purportedly invented by a drive-in restaurant chain called Kings Food Host in Omaha, Nebraska, this lunch-time marvel is a fried grilled cheese. The wonderful texture is thanks to the sandwich being dipped first in an egg/milk mixture, and then
corn flake crumbs. Kings used American cheese, but you can use whatever type of cheese you like, as long as it melts well. Grilled cheese just died and went to heaven.
If you are visiting Omaha, check out the Joslyn Castle. Built at the turn of the century for socialites George and Sarah Joslyn, this stunning Scottish baronial mansion once housed a bowling alley and later served as headquarters for Omaha Public Schools.
4-6 slices melting cheese, such as mozzarella, gouda, havarti
Splash of milk
3/4 cup corn flake crumbs
Assemble the cheese sandwiches. In a dish or shallow bowl, beat egg with splash of milk. In a separate dish, place corn flake crumbs. Dip sandwich in egg mixture, coating both sides of the bread. Dip in corn flake crumbs, again coating both sides of bread. Repeat with other sandwich. Heat oil in a skillet to 350 degrees. Fry sandwiches 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cheese is melted.
The goudarooni is a variation on the calzone, a folded over pizza with the filing inside. We couldn’t determine where the wacky name comes from since there is no gouda in the recipe, but this regional
dish you’ve never heard of comes to you by way of Omaha, Nebraska, specifically Orsi’s Italian Bakery on Pacific Street. This joint has been around since 1919 so you can bet they know their stuff. Our recipe is a slight adaption of Saveur’s and is filled with potatoes, tomato-y ground beef and two types of cheese. Make this and you will not go hungry for days.
Do not miss Omaha’s Durham Museum. Located in the former Union Station, the Durham is a hands-on history museum with restored trains from different eras, western artifacts, and even an old time soda fountain.
1 ½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced with mandolin
1/2 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cups grated mozzarella
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
To make crust: To make crust: In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in ½ cup warm water. Let sit until mixture begins to foam. Add rest of water and olive oil. Add 3 ½ cups flour, salt, and remaining sugar. Mix with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook until well combined. If dough is too sticky add a quarter cup of flour at a time, until dough is smooth and elastic and pulls away from the bowl. Transfer dough to a large bowl that has been coated with cooking spray. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.
To make filing: Place potatoes with a ¼ cup olive oil, salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Mix with hands until potatoes are well coated. Spread evenly and bake at 500 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove and set aside.
In a large sauté pan, cook onions in remaining ¼ cup olive oil until translucent. Add meat, breaking it up while it cooks until it is no longer pink. Add tomato paste, spices and sugar, along with ½ cup water. Cook until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
To assemble goudarooni: Punch the dough down. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into an 18” X 20” rectangle. Slide a well-floured pizza peel under half the dough. Spread half the mozzarella and pecorino, leaving a 1-inch border. Spread the potatoes, then the meat sauce. Top with the remaining cheese. Fold up dough over the filling, and crimp the edges closed. Cut two slits in the top for steam to escape. Slide into 500 degree oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Americans love their hand-held meat pies. Michigan has the pasty, West Virginia has the pepperoni roll, and Nebraska has the bierock. (Let’s not even start with Central and South American empanadas or the Italian calzone). Just like pepperoni rolls, these savory buns were
probably brought to the U.S. by Europeans, specifically Eastern Europeans who immigrated to the Midwest and Plains states beginning at the turn of the century until after WWII. Many of these people were farmers, as they found the land to be similar to their homeland. Bierocks filled the farmers’ lunch pails – they were easy to eat on the go and were filling. Bierocks (pronounced “brook” or Continue reading Bierocks Rock – Nebraska→