Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Grilled Cheese with Tomato on Bacon Bread

Grilled cheese with tomato on Bacon Bread
Grilled cheese with tomato and bacon is one of those classic combinations that everyone loves. So when you have a fresh batch of my Infamous Bacon Bread, this combination is just going to happen sooner or later. There's enough bacon flavor in the bread to be a good base without adding more bacon (not that more bacon is ever a bad thing!).

So, for me, the problem with using tomato slices in a sandwich such as this is the water content in the tomatoes. If there is too much water in the tomatoes, the liquid will mix with the melted cheese, and make a runny mess that may make the bread soggy, and interfere with that great crunch you want to have. The solution is simple- take your tomato slices and put them on a hot grill for a few minutes on each side. Let the grill cook off most of the water- the tomatoes will soften almost to the point of falling apart, and probably start to develop a little brown color, which helps with depth of flavor as well.

Grilling your tomatoes will help remove excess water and help develop flavor

While your tomato is on the grill, take two healthy slices of that Infamous Bacon Bread, and liberally butter one side of each slice. Put the bread on the grill butter side down, and layer on two to three slices of your favorite cheese (usually white american for me). on each piece of bread. Once your tomatoes have been flipped, and no longer look like water is boiling out of them, lay your slices on top of one side of the bread- this will make it easier to assemble the sandwich- you'll only have to flip the non-tomato side on top.

Lay your grilled tomato slices on top of the cheese, and continue cooking until done.

Once it looks like all the cheese is fully melted, lift a corner of one slice of bread and see if you are happy with the color. If you have a nice even golden-brown crust, you can go ahead and assemble your sandwich- if not let it cook for another minute or so.

A finished Grilled Cheese with Tomato on Infamous Bacon Bread
When you have your sandwich together, the tomatoes should almost disintegrate into a tasty paste, and almost blend into the cheese without being overly runny. Your sandwich should have a fantastic crunch followed by a burst of hot molten cheese and nearly liquid tomato. The bacon flavor from the bacon bread is actually somewhat subtle since it is part of the bread rather than in the sandwich itself. If you really miss the crunch of a crispy strip or two (or five) of bacon, go for it. More bacon is never a bad thing unless your cholesterol is dangerously high- but you'll probably be happy with the bacon-laden bread just as well.

The tomato and the cheese melt together, and counter the strong crunch of bread and bacon.
This is not a sandwich for the faint of heart. It is rich and filling, and it will satisfy you. But if you're a die-hard bacon fan (and you should be!) you'll want to go back for more, until your doctor tells you to stop abusing yourself at least!

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