Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Something to consider for the Super Bowl...

Or when it's 20 degrees which seems to be every night in New York this winter.

Let me start by saying I have no problem with the classic, good 'ol American grilled cheese. But this version ever so humbly blows the socks off the original. It's actually a little embarrassing.

And while I served these with a salad for dinner, I do think they'd be perfect Super Bowl finger food cut into little triangles. You can even fry up a big batch of the sandwiches then keep them warm in a low oven until you're ready to cut and serve them. They'll just sit in the oven happy as taxidermy, all gooey on the inside and crispy on the outside until kick off.

Gooey Goat and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese with Bacon
* This filling will make 3 sandwiches, or 12 'triangles' when cut cross wise from corner to corner as an app.
* If omitting the bacon, I'd use salted butter for more flavor, but then again I'm a salt addict.

6 slices of sourdough bread
Butter, to spread

2.5 oz goat cheese, room temp
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (not fresh mozzarella, your regular bagged variety)
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
6-8 drops Tabasco (hot sauce)
1/4 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard (the all American ballpark kind)
Fresh cracked pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter plus a dash of olive oil

6-8 slices of bacon, baked on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for 15-18 minutes until crisp then patted dry and cut in half

Preheat the oven to 325.

Mix the goat cheese, mozzarella, mayo, salt, Tabasco, mustard, and pepper together in a small bowl, using a fork to help things along. Set aside. Meanwhile, spread 3 of the sourdough slices with butter on one side. Spread the cheese filling onto the remaining 3 slices, making sure the filling is evenly distributed across and not going over the edge. Add the bacon over the cheese spread, as much or as little as you want.

Now you can put the sandwiches together by placing the buttered slices, butter side-down on top of the cheese and bacon. Press the sandwiches gently but firmly together, pushing your palms down on them to help them stick.

Heat the 3 tablespoons butter and dash of oil in a large, rimmed, nonstick skillet. There should be enough butter, once melted and swirled around by tilting the pan, to coat the entire bottom with a thin layer. If not, add more butter until it does.

Once hot but not to the point of browning on you, add the sandwiches, spreading out evenly in the pan. These will cook quickly, so don't leave them. After about a minute, use a spatula to lift one, checking to see if your crust has become golden yet. If so, flip carefully but immediately to the other side, gently pushing the sandwiches around in the pan to soak up any leftover butter (by now some of it will have browned, adding that wonderful nutty flavor.) Cook just another 30 seconds or so until golden, then transfer to a baking rack fitted over a baking sheet and transferring to the oven to continue heating through and melting the cheese, about 8 minutes. If not serving right away, lower the heat to 200.

Remove, cut, and serve.

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