BARRY SAYS: "What wine would you pair with a grilled cheese doughnut and tomato basil soup?"
That was the question I asked the helpful wine expert at a local retail shop recently. He pretty much reacted like I thought he would. He laughed at the question like he was being punked, and then thought about it. Then he smiled and said, "Now, I am intrigued."
KELLEY SAYS: That's pretty much how you reacted when I told you about the dish.
BARRY: You are absolutely right. I thought you were kidding. I can count on one hand the number of times Kelley has made what I would consider a dessert or something sweet. She doesn't bake, and sweets are just not a priority, so when she told me about a dish she discovered during one of her late-night excursions on the iPad, I thought she was kidding.
KELLEY: It just sounded amazing, and I was right.
BARRY: Yes, you were, as usual. It's one of those things that doesn't sound right on first hearing, but then when you think about it, it sounds amazing.
KELLEY: I saw it on a show called "Crazy Delicious," by the way. The saltiness of the bacon and the sweetness of the maple glaze on the doughnut work so well with the cheese, and all of it is just perfect with the soup. For me, I like to use whatever leftovers I have to make the soup.
Get a good melty cheese as well. I've used cheddar, Havarti and Gouda.
It needs to be really good soup and a thick, day- or two-old doughnut to hold up to the grilling, as we learned after the first attempt.
BARRY: We've actually made it three times now, and it is truly delicious.
KELLEY: This is worth trying if you like doughnuts, cheese or soup. It's just good.
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 ounces marinara sauce (I had leftover, but you can used canned)
1 (26.5-ounce) container chopped tomatoes
1 (15.2-ounce) container 100 percent carrot juice
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon McCormick crushed red pepper/oregano/garlic
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
In a pan, sauté garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the marinara sauce, and stir. Add the tomatoes, carrot juice, white wine, vegetable stock, McCormick spice blend, thyme and freshly ground black pepper, and let cook for 30-40 minutes until reduced. Add the remaining ingredients, and season to taste. Cover and turn off heat.
4 bacon/maple-syrup-glazed doughnuts
3-4 cups Muenster/Havarti and Fontina cheese blend
Slice doughnuts in half, and spread with mayonnaise on the cut side. Place cut side down on a grill, and toast. Flip over, and add cheese, and grill as you would a grilled cheese sandwich. Serve with soup.
Contact Barry and Kelley Courter at email@example.com or 423-757-6354.