A sandwich for the front page
When it comes to periodical food porn, I confess that I’m an addict. I’m attracted to glossy magazines like a fruit fly to a tumbler of port; easily taken in by the pin-up shots on the covers of my favorite magazines; Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Vegetarian Times and especially the slickly designed Aussie imports Donna Hay and Delicious. Just as soon as the February issue of Gourmet fell through the mail slot, I was hooked: the cover photo is a simple, oozy grilled cheese sandwich. It was almost lunchtime and I was hungry, so I went into the kitchen and made one. It’s rare that I have the time and inclination to try a recipe as soon as it catches my eye. You know how that goes – flag the page and forget about it for a few years. I had to make some substitutions, because when you have a Spontaneous-Cook-the-Cover episode, you don’t always have every ingredient called for; in this case my pantry was missing both the Taleggio and Fontina cheeses and escarole greens. Instead, I made my version of this panini sandwich with sliced Raclette, goat cheese and fresh basil leaves. I did have some fig jam on the shelf just waiting for such an opportunity, which was a good thing because the sweet-savory preserves are a fantastic surprise. At first bite, this sandwich made my day – gooey, tangy cheese, grilled, warm bread and hit of fresh basil. I had a very happy lunch. The only way to improve upon this sandwich recipe would be to add some crisp bacon or pancetta – but really, even a piece of grilled shoe leather would taste better with some crisp bacon or pancetta, so I guess that just goes without saying!
Grilled Cheese with Fig Jam, Basil and Goat Cheese
adapted from Gourmet
adapted from Gourmet
- 2 (1/2-inch-thick) center slices sourdough bread (from a 9- to 10-inch round)
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fig jam
- 2 ounces sliced Raclette or Fontina cheese
- 1/4 cup soft crumbled goat cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
Brush 1 side of bread slices with oil and arrange, oil sides down, on a work surface. Spread jam on bread slices and top one slice with the cheese. Arrange basil on top of cheese, season with salt and pepper. Close sandwich.
Heat a heavy griddle or stovetop-grill pan over medium-high heat. Place the sandwich in the pan; weigh with a sandwich press or heavy skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes, until undersides are golden brown. Turn over with a spatula, and cook on the second side until golden brown and cheese has melted. Slice in half on the diagonal, and serve right away.
Copyright (c) 2008 FamilyStyle Food