I have such food ADD. I was at the grocery store to buy… BUTTER. Just butter. And I walked past the produce section where they had honeyscrisp apples for sale. So then I thought about how much I’d like to snack on cheeses, apples, salami, and wine for a meal this coming week. So I went to trader joe’s for cheap cheese & salami, and found myself at yet another grocery store later that evening for some cookie ingredients, and once again went through the produce section and saw pears on sale. This is also part of the reason that our grocery bill is so high. Equipped with some amazing homemade bacon in the fridge, plus brie and some tasty bread in my shopping bag, I determined that the only moral thing to do would be to make grilled cheese. So I did.
See my new knife? Wusthof Sandwich. I have no practical purpose for it except it’s narrower than my chef’s and longer than my paring which makes it a compromise of both, but hopefully more convenient for larger OR more intricate jobs. Probably a waste, but I’m super excited about it!
You start by coring your pears. I use a melon baller for minimal loss of fruit. Then you slice and sauté the pears. Unless yours are super ripe and juicy, then maybe leave them alone and add them to the sandwich raw. These were slightly unripe, which is just how I like them raw, however on a sandwich, they benefitted from a few minutes on low with a little butter.
Then you’ll want to get your bacon fried up. Thicker is better IMO, but if you don’t have what remains of an 11lb slab (after feeding BLTs to about 8 people) in your fridge, just go with meat counter bacon, that’s usually pretty decent and low cost.
When it’s done, drain it, then slice up into smaller pieces, just so you don’t pull a huge piece out of the sammich and have to endure several baconless bites. I’m looking out for your taste buds here.
An aside about my homemade bacon… Craig detests the whole “bacon movement” but simply adores my homemade bacon. His explanation; it’s porkier. He LOVES my bacon, but every time I’m out and use storebought bacon he gets all pretentious and usually says something to the effect of “this tastes like grocery store bacon. What do you take me for?” So I encourage you, make your own bacon. It’s easy, delicious, and usually cheaper than buying it.
Of course, don’t forget to slice up the brie. You may think that huge slabs are the way to go, but they take too long to melt. Lots of thin slices reign in this regard.
Butter up the outside of a couple pieces of bread, then make your layers. The assembly should go as follows:
bartlett pears (had to keep in the “b” theme)
Apply low heat. I used a cast iron pan to avoid swings in temperature, but had my electric range set on 2 out of 10. It took quite some time for the bread to begin to brown, which was good, because it gave the cheese lots of time to melt into every nook and cranny. I flipped a few times.
Remove from heat, allow to rest for a couple minutes so the cheese isn’t so molten, then slice in half.
I was going to have it with a bowl of creamy tomato bisque (I make double and triple batches of soup and freeze leftovers in 1 quart containers so I can have preservative-free and delicious soups on hand whenever necessary), but halfway through my meal, our new dog who has not yet learned doggie food etiquette snatched the second half of my sandwich(!!!!) off the plate and in the process knocked the bowl of soup all over our carpet. Awesome. At least he didn’t get any of it. While I was disciplining him, Boris finished off everything. Grrrrrr.