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Recipes

Maple Pear Bacon Grilled Cheese

Maple Pear Bacon Grilled Cheese - anneliesz

How do you say I love you? It comes out of my mouth in the language of beer and cheese. Cracking open an IPA for the one that I love even if my brew is less hoppy and scoring the best Vermont has to offer when it comes to cheddar (he likes it extra sharp) might be the love language that can’t really be bought. I tasted a delightfully bold cheddar from Cabot Creamery at IFBC and it set a plan in motion. Some people give expensive gifts, trips, watches, or other finery. I give grilled cheese.

Maple Pear Bacon Grilled Cheese - anneliesz

A few years ago, I stumbled upon the idea because, let’s be frank, cheese has always played an important role in our relationship. So, I set out to make Dark Rye Grilled Cheese Sandwiches all rubbed down in garlic and as you might imagine, it was a good idea. I picked up a block of the Cabot cheese because I knew if I liked it someone else in my immediate proximity would love it. 

Maple Pear Bacon Grilled Cheese - anneliesz

But, this, friends, is no ordinary grilled cheese I concocted for my 2017 ILY. In fact, at just this moment, I’m going to make a bold statement inspired by the cheese to tell you it’s the best one I’ve ever eaten. When I presented the sandwich as a gift wrapped in crispy outsides concealing the symphony of flavors inside, the response to my I love you was one finger raised, requesting silence as he took a second bite. Not a bad reply especially when accompanied by a bear hug.

Maple Pear Bacon Grilled Cheese - anneliesz

The inspiration for this year’s grilled cheese came from a lunch date we took years ago at a restaurant in San Francisco named Arlequin. We finished our sandwiches in the courtyard out back and they created taste memories. That twist of salty and sweet kind of made the sandwich amazing… until now. I started thinking more about the pears and in my excitement to start cooking with them they practically whispered in my ear what came next. Rosemary. A touch of maple. All sauteed in those priceless bacon drippings. So, make it for someone you deeply care about. Once a year. Call it an I love you in griddled challah bread and cheddar form.

Maple Pear Bacon Grilled Cheese - anneliesz

Maple Pear Bacon Grilled Cheese

I love a good cooking hack. This sandwich can totally be prepped and grilled in advance of eating it. Reheat it at 280F for 8 minutes. Chances are kind of amazingly high that these maple pears sauteed in the bacon fat would be the stuff of legend as a topping for autumn pancakes. You’re welcome. Just let me know how they tasted and what else you put on them!

Makes 2 sandwiches

4 strips bacon

1 Bosc pear, peeled and thinly sliced

½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1 teaspoon maple syrup

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

4 ounces white cheddar cheese (cut into 6 slices)

4 1/2-inch slices challah bread

Cook the bacon in a skillet. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan. Reserve that extra bacon fat. Saute the pear slices with the rosemary, maple syrup, and salt over medium low heat for about 5 minutes or until the pears take on a bit of color and soften slightly. Remove the skillet from the burner, carefully swiping a paper towel through to clean it. Brush the top and bottom of the two bread slices with some of the reserved bacon drippings. Build the sandwich, tiling three slices of cheddar on both of the unbrushed sides of the slices of bread. Tile the bacon on one side. Tile the pears on the other side. Carefully close the sandwich. Set the skillet over medium low heat. Grill the sandwich for 3 minutes on each side or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melty. Press down on top with your fingers as you steady a spatula underneath, carefully flipping the sandwich and grilling the other side. Prep the other sandwich while the first one is grilling and repeat the cooking instructions.

Categories
Food Poetry Poetry

Roquefort by David Nutt

Roquefort Blue Cheese Poetry - anneliesz

Roquefort

Dark and damp with drafty corridors
Hidden caves in limestone rock
Allows the cheese to ripen lost in time
This is the place were alchemy unfolds
Like blocks of rounded marble they stand
Proud and stately in silent pose
Their crumbly dough streaked with veins of blue
Palate and tongue tingle with delight
Lactescent, salty with complex tang
Force powerful images of wind swept lands
Herds of sheep in peaceful sleep
While shepherds watch over starry skies
There in the Rocquefort many mysteries lie.

 

© David Nutt

 

ABOUT DAVID NUTT
David shares his passion for cheese through poetry over on his blog, Cheese Poetry with a special emphasis on French fromage (cheese). I’m particularly taken with his poem, “An Ode to Cheese.” He spent his professional life in the financial services industry (Paris and New York).  Some years ago he retired in Normandy. It was in this magnificent countryside he fell in love with French cheese. His feelings for these divine products motivated him to want to share my pleasure with the many French cheese lovers scattered throughout the world. He and a French friend created the website, Fromages. In the early years of this adventure he was assigned to write the monthly newsletter. The next step was a natural evolution to produce a book in a novel and interesting form on a number of France’s most prodigious cheeses. He chose to write about poetry as it has the magic of touching our romantic senses by combining rhyme and words. If John Keats was still alive he would, no doubt, look down on my work as very humble effort.  The book is entitled: Tasting to Eternity.