But don't knock it 'til you try it!
Everybody has that one celebrity chef that they trust completely for recipes. For some, it’s home-cooking aficionados like Ina Garten or Ree Drummond for others, it’s more trained professionals like Rachael Ray or Gordon Ramsay. For me, however, it’s not a chef at all—but celebrity home cook Stanley Tucci.
When Tucci posts a recipe on social media, I’m usually one of the first people to say, “I need to try that.” Whether it’s his favorite comfort food or desert island meal, I’ve never once been taken aback by the recipes he makes or combinations he creates. In fact, normally, I’m pretty excited to learn his trick for leftover pasta and the way he makes a creamy sauce without using cream.
However, during a recent interview with Tucci about his long-standing S. Pellegrino partnership, I was truly shocked to learn his go-to comfort food combination.
Stanley Tucci's Comfort Food Combination
“Sometimes there’s nothing better than a great grilled cheese,” Tucci said in an exclusive interview with Allrecipes.
Yes, I completely agree—but, then I asked if he serves it with a classic tomato soup or on its own. The answer? Neither.
“Yeah, [I serve it] with soup—with pea soup,” he said. “[It’s] one of the best things in the world.”
I’m not normally a person who yucks somebody’s yum—especially not before I try it. But, come on, mushy, bland, green pea soup just reminds me of something my grandma would have eaten.
But, don’t worry, I asked him how he makes his pea soup anyway—because maybe it would be better than what I was picturing, and it’s my job to let you know that. Plus, I really wanted to know how Tucci makes a “great” grilled cheese.
“Very carefully,” the actor said with a laugh. “Make sure you have a weight—oil, butter, then whatever cheese you want to put in it that’s melty. That’s it—you just keep flipping it until it gets nice and golden brown. Come on, that’s, like, the greatest thing in the world.”
After making it, let me tell you, it really is. The weight is the key to getting the crispy, golden brown sandwich with extra gooey cheese in the middle.
As for the pea soup, Tucci says there’s “practically nothing” that goes into it.
“It’s chicken broth—you can do it with vegetable broth or even ham broth—onions, a little bit of garlic, peas, and baked ham or boiled ham chunks. You put those in at the end, and then you make some croutons, and then you have the grilled cheese.”
Unsurprisingly, the Tucc didn’t give us any measurements for the soup, so I’ve adapted this Split Pea Soup recipe for Tucci’s preferences below. And, I will say, I misjudged the pea soup-grilled cheese combo—I’m not sure it will replace tomato soup, but it is definitely worth a try.
How To Make Stanley Tucci's Pea Soup & Grilled Cheese
2 1/4 cups dried split peas
2 quarts chicken broth
2 onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1-pound) package diced or cubed ham
croutons, for optional garnish
butter, slightly softened
12 slices bread
6 slices Cheddar or American cheese
Place dried peas in a large stockpot and cover with several inches of cold water. Let soak, 8 hours to overnight. Drain, rinse, and return peas to the pot.
Add chicken broth, onions, and garlic to the pot. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer until the peas have thickened, about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Add ham and cook, uncovered, until meat is warmed through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve garnished with croutons, if desired.
Preheat a skillet with olive oil over medium heat.
Generously butter one side of a slice of bread. Place bread butter-side down in the hot skillet; add 1 slice of cheese. Generously butter a second slice of bread on one side and place butter-side up on top of cheese.
Using a weight, such as a skillet, press the sandwich down. Repeat with remaining bread and cheese. Toast sandwiches until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Read the original article on All Recipes.