On deck: top college ballers Clemson and Alabama face-off tonight in the College Football Playoff national championship. So with all angst in the air, it's a given- make fans some comfort food. Grilled cheese it is.
I do love a good grilled cheese. (That's all the transition I got, going from football to food.) There is almost nothing more comforting to me than a ooey-gooey, crispy-on-the-outside, melty-on-the-inside sammy. I’m not above the simplicity of white bread and american staple of my childhood. And I am not one that thinks only pre-sliced bread and store-sliced cheese should be forgotten nor labeled as boring, either.
I have tried a Gruyere and crabmeat on sourdough grilled cheese, and woah. It was spectacular. I truly appreciate the endless possibilities food presents. Which reminds me of another time, when I attempted a fried green tomato and jack on a cornbread focaccia. Let’s just say that that particular grilled cheese did not turn out as I had hoped. But this time last year, it was pimento cheese and jalapeño on Texas toast. That one was a keeper.
So this go-round, I'm attempting something completely new. I’ll be grilling the bread on both sides. I’ve read that buttering and grilling the bread on one side, then flipping and adding the cheese while grilling the other side, will result in a crispier sandwich. I'll also be adding a tablespoon of sugary preserve- I’m thinking fig. Plus a daring combo of Brie and Gruyere. I love a little salty/sweet action, especially when it’s a surprise- as it would be in this sandwich. And y'all. It’s a melty masterpiece.
Grilled Fig Cheesey
2 slices whole grain bread
2 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons gooey fig butter
1 oz. brie cheese
1 oz. Gruyere cheese
Thinly slice cheeses. Spread half of the butter on slice of bread. On opposite side, spread the fig butter. Repeat with other slice of bread. Place one layer of each cheese over jam on one slice of bread. Top with other slice of bread, jam side down. Heat a pan over medium heat (or warm panini press). Place grilled cheese in hot pan. Let cook until bottom turns golden brown (3-5 minutes). Carefully flip. When second side is browned, remove and enjoy! If cheese isn't melting easily (or if it wasn't at room temperature), cover pan with lid to allow cheese to melt without burning your bread.
So, if like me, try it or just let your imagination run wild and indulge in all the possibilities of fried bread and cheese.
Ready. Set. Hike.