The folks at The Queens Kickshaw have proven they are truly masters of outstanding coffee and grilled cheese. If you’ve been there, then you know they serve unique combinations of the most delicious grilled cheese sandwiches you may ever come across. And, if you haven’t been there, plan to visit because it is truly grilled cheese perfection. If you think making a grilled cheese involves little more than slapping a slice of cheese between two pieces of Wonder bread, think again. It’s time to get inspired by what’s cooking at The Queens Kickshaw.
Their menu is full of surprises, with combinations of sandwiches as diverse as Queens itself. The Gouda with black bean hummus, guava jam and pickled jalapenos is a combination of sweet and spicy in each gooey bite. The creamy Fontina Val d’Aosta is delicate, served open-face with mushrooms and pesto on focaccia. No matter the combination there seems to be formula that’s genius and works every time. Start with really great bread, use interesting flavorful cheeses, and add a topping or filling that will complement the cheese by providing a contrast of flavors. Then there’s the technique. Watch the chef preparing sandwiches behind the counter and you’ll see The Queens Kickshaw has worked out the best way to get the most melt without any sogginess. Each slice of bread is generously topped, put in the oven open so the cheese melts right through to the center, then it is put together, buttered and grilled to crispy perfection on the griddle.
One taste of a Queens Kickshaw sandwich and you’ll see why there is no other way to do it. Learn a lesson from the masters, and when you make your next grilled cheese at home take your creation to a new level. Here’s a simple recipe that’s inspired by what’s served at The Queens Kickshaw.
Smoked Mozzarella with Roasted Pepper Puree, Prosciutto and Arugula
- 1 large round crusty loaf of bread, sliced
- Smoked mozzarella, sliced ¼” thick
- ¼ lb prosciutto, thinly sliced
- 1 jar roasted red peppers
- 1 large bunch of arugula
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter slices of bread generously on both sides and set aside. Drain roasted peppers and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add a drizzle of olive oil and puree until smooth. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste and spread on each slice of bread.
- Top bread with smoked mozzarella and place open-face on a sheet tray in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted.
- Heat a griddle or nonstick skillet on the stovetop. Once the cheese has melted, remove the bread slices from the oven and top with prosciutto and a handful of arugula, then sandwich each together. Place on hot griddle or skillet and let sandwich brown fully on each side, then serve while still warm.
The Queens Kickshaw: Specialty coffee, fancy grilled cheese sandwiches and craft beer.
When: Monday-Friday 7:30am-1am, Saturday-Sunday 9am-1am
Where: 40-17 Broadway, Astoria; 718-777-0913
By: Vivian Cardinale