Thursday, April 17, 2014

Brie grilled cheese with bacon and fig

Did you guys know that April is Grilled Cheese Month? Since there's a whole month dedicated to this sandwich, we may as well get a bit crazy with it! You ready?

How does brie, bacon, and fig jam sound to you? Good? Good!

Cheeeeeeese!!
It's a simple sandwich to assemble. First, get some good quality bread and butter the outside of it. On one piece of toast put a little layer of fig jam (but not as much as I did--you want a hint of sweetness but you don't want it to overpower the sandwich...do as I say and not as I do). On the other piece layer a thick cut of brie and some cooked bacon.

The perfect marriage of flavors, but use less figs than I did!
Assemble the sandwich and fry in a pan over medium heat until the cheese is melted.


That's it!

I've never made this sandwich any other way, but if you don't have fig jam on hand I'd think that just a touch of honey or thinly sliced apples would give you that sweet component that goes well with brie.  (Apples would be nice too for the texture contrast they'd provide.)

And again, if this idea of something sweet on a savory sandwich is off putting, just remember the sweet shouldn't be too sweet. It's simply meant to compliment the salty and creamy from the bacon and the cheese. The figs I had on hand were whole figs in syrup so the amount of fruit I used really overpowered the sandwich. Just a touch would have been plenty!

Yours in celebrating any month that dedicates itself to cheese,
Jacqueline

Brie and bacon grilled cheese with fig, adapted from Smells Like Home

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Ingredients
4 slices bread of your choice (I used a hearty french loaf)
Butter, softened (salted or unsalted)
1 - 2 TBSP fig jam
4 slices of thick-cut bacon, cooked crisp
4 oz brie, sliced about 4″ long, 1/4″ thick

Directions
  • Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. 
  • To prepare the sandwiches, butter one side of each slice of bread ("the outside"). Spread up to 1 tablespoon of the fig jam on the unbuttered side of two of the slices. On the other slices divide the bacon and cheese (again, on the unbuttered side) and assemble your sandwiches.
  • Place the sandwiches in the skillet and cover the pan with a lid or sheet of aluminum foil for about 3 minutes; this will ensure your cheese gets melty before your bread gets too dark.
  • Remove the lid (or foil) and check the undersides of the bread with a spatula. When the bread is lightly browned, flip the sandwiches to finish off the other sides. 
  • When both sides of the sandwiches are perfectly browned (you know what that looks like) and the cheese is just about melted, remove them from the pan, cut, and serve hot and gooey.

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