“GRILLED CHEESE has always been my go-to,” said Robynne Maii. In her debut Slow Food Fast contribution, the chef serves an elevated, summery version that is infused with a variety of cheeses as well as soft slices of squash. The recipe is based on a dish that she served in Her Honolulu Restaurant, Fete; it mixes cheeses to create richness. “You want something mild, something sharp and something unctuous,” Maii explained. With warm tomato sauce to dip, the smart combination tastes a lot like a pizza deconstructed. “There’s just something so comforting about it,” Maii declared.

Kitty Greenwald is a cook, food writer, and co-author of Slow Fires (Clarkson Potter)

Grilled Cheese With Summer Squash Ribbons and Tomato Compote

To create a truly charming grill cheese that is crispy on the outside and melting inside, slow and consistent cooking is the best way to go.

Total Time25 minutes



  • 1 cup and two tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (28-ounce) can of tomatoes crushed
  • Black pepper freshly crushed and Kosher Salt.
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar and additional
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper in flakes
  • 1. Summer squash cut into 1/8-inch wide ribbons
  • 8. ( half-inch) slices of country or sourdough bread
  • Four tablespoons of salted butter softened.
  • 8 Ounces Fontina (about two cups) Shredded
  • 4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) shredded mozzarella
  • Six tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus extra


  1. In a small pan, put together the olive oil of 1/4 cup with garlic and oregano. Reduce heat to a simmer, then switch off the heat and let it sit for over 10 minutes. In a medium-sized pot, mix crushed tomatoes along with salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and sugar. Simmer over medium heat until flavors meld, 5-7 minutes.
  2. Clean garlic off the oil and dispose of it. Stir oil into tomato mixture. With an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, as well as some sugar, according to your preference.
  3. Mix squash in two tablespoons of sea salt and a little oil. In a large skillet at medium-high heat, cook the squash until lightly brown and soft, 1-2 mins per side. (Cook squash in small portions to avoid overcrowding.) Place aside and clean the pan.
  4. Spread the bread slices’ sides with butter that has been softened. Mix the cheeses in the bowl of a small. Use the clean pan to toast the bread on one side on a medium-low heat to golden. Transfer half the bread to the side and then place the other slices in the pan. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of cheese on the toast in the pan. Then, top it with some squash ribbons and another 1/3 cup of cheese. Then, cover with the bread slices, toasting side up, then press gently. Reduce heat to medium-low low, and simmer until it is golden and crispy, around 3 minutes. After that, flip the dish and cook on the other side until the other side is brown and the cheese is completely melted.
  5. Transfer the sandwiches onto the cutting board and cut into triangles. To dip, serve alongside small serving bowls of hot tomato sauce, garnished with more Parmesan.

In an effort to cut down on her consumption of beef, Mandy Lee, the Hong Food blogger based in Hong Kong who is behind Lady and Pups, was determined to find a substitute breakable protein. Mandy Lee had some success using thighs of chicken that were dark meat, which can be much more efficient than a leaner breast of chicken to make a burger, but the end result did not quite meet the same standards as beef.

Then, it hit her when she added ground chicken skin to the thigh meat that was ground; Lee received the full taste and crisp exterior she wanted. “I don’t really miss a beef burger when I have a good chicken smash burger,” Lee said. “Chicken skin is one of the most underutilized weapons if you want to add flavor.”

Her method starts by freezing bits of skinless, boneless chicken thigh. In this way, she will get a fine, smooth ground chicken that is dotted with skin bits when she blends the whole thing in the food processor. In the absence of this, you’ll be left with a tasteless paste.