Thursday, April 24, 2014

My Facebook feed tells me that April is National Grilled Cheese Month.
As you can imagine images of ooey, gooey, crisp and buttery sammies have haunted me for weeks.
Seriously, I've craved a grilled cheese sandwich at least 17 times since April 1. So, today I decided to beat back my cravings in drastic fashion.

As if the creamy decadence of a simple grilled cheese sandwich wasn't enough, I paired my beautiful tribute to National Grilled Cheese month with salty crisp bacon, smokey gouda, tart whole grain mustard seeds and fresh asparagus spears.

It sounds intimidating.

Tantalizing, even.

I assure you, this little madame is worth every penny.

2 slices of french bread
1 tbsp of whole grain mustard
3 slices of bacon diced into large chunks
4 spears of fresh asparagus
3 slices of smoked gouda

  1. Take the diced bacon and cook it over medium-high heat until it browns and crisps.
  2. When the bacon is ready use a slotted spoon or spatula and scoop the bacon onto a paper-towel-lined plate so the excess grease will drain off.
  3. Snap the tough ends off of the bottoms of each asparagus spear (about 1 inch up the stalk).
  4. Reduce the heat on the bacon grease in the pan and add your asparagus spears.
  5. Cook the asparagus spears in the bacon grease until it is tender.
  6. When the asparagus is ready remove it from the grease and set it on the same paper-towel-lined plate to allow the excess grease to drain off.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and drain off any pools of bacon grease, but do not clean the pan, allow there to be a layer of bacon grease on the bottom of the pan.
  8. Prep your sandwich by spreading the mustard on each slice of bread.
  9. Add a slice of smoked gouda on top of the mustard on each slice of bread.
  10. Lay the asparagus spears on one side of the sandwich, and the bacon on the other side of the sandwich.
  11. Lay the third slice of cheese between the bacon and asparagus and close the sandwich.
  12. Put the bacon pan back on medium-low heat.
  13. When it is warm, lay the sandwich in the bacon pan and allow it to brown on one side (about 1 minute) the flip to the other side. 
  14. Cut in half and serve.

Gouda is an interesting cheese. It doesn't melt in the same way cheddar, provolone or other hard cheeses do. It softens over the heat then melts as soon as you bite into it.  It rewards you for your innovation, patience and dedication to cheesy excellence.

Happy National Grilled Cheese Month, Yummies.



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