Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Manchego & Basil Bacony Grilled Cheese

All hail the queen of bacon...and that queen would be me! I don't see you hailing...*waiting*...*hailing ensues*...that's better. Actually, now that I mention it, I wonder if there is some bacon themed pageant somewhere out there in this great nation of ours. Can't you just picture it? Somewhere in a fly-over state, there's some poor little 9 year old girl dressed like a 27 year old street walker with a fake tan, trannie make-up, and a painfully big smile plastered on her dead behind the eyes little face while she parades around a stage like a show dog trying trying to earn the love of her overbearing and tragically desperate mother by living out her unfulfilled dreams.  Ok, so obviously I have some strong opinions about child pageants, but I would gladly pay money to observe grown ass women participate in a bacon beauty pageant. That's just too good of an imaginary opportunity to laugh my ass off while burning with secret envy to pass up. But as always I digress.

Manchego isn't typically used in grilled cheese, because it's not a very melty cheese. I typically don't have the capacity to keep anything alive that doesn't poop or bark [and even then, I have my moments] but somehow I have managed to keep my potted basil plant alive and thriving for three whole weeks. So in celebration of the things that shouldn't be, I decided to combine these two ingredients to make the ultimate grilled cheese. Where's the bacon? Glad you asked. There's isn't any actual bacon in the sandwich, but I did fry it in left over bacon grease from my morning's breakfast. You read that right mi amores, left over bacon grease--don't knock it till you try it.

2 slices whole wheat bread
(lots) Machego cheese, sliced
6-7 leaves basil
Fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp butter
3 oz rendered bacon fat (foodie speak for bacon grease)

you know I didn't just eat a grille cheese sandwich alone...

Lemon Roasted Broccoli
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large broccoli crowns, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
olive oil
Sea Salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Assemble sandwich by layering the sliced cheese with basil leaves. Generously season with black pepper. Heat bacon fat and butter in skillet on medium heat. Add sandwich to pan and press flat with spatula, hold for about 30 seconds. Cover skillet with lid and let sandwich cook for 2 minutes. Flip sandwich, press flat with spatula and let cook another 2-3 minutes on second side, or until cheese is melted and bread is browned and crisp. 

Chop broccoli into small bites, toss with chopped garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes until roasty and delicious.

The sandwich was awesome, basil makes everything better, and though manchego isn't the meltiest cheese, the flavor is fantastic. And the bacon flavor was the perfect amount wrong and delicious. I am a genius.


  1. Manchego is seriously my very favorite cheese!

  2. Um... I may just have to use bacon grease for my next grilled cheese! Yum!

  3. this look so yummy!!! can't wait to make it :)


  4. Did you watch the Oprah/Martha Stewart episode last week? Martha would definitely approve of your "grown up" grilled cheese! BTW - I've never heard or tried Machengo cheese. I need you to live closer so you can introduce me to all these wonderful new things :)

  5. @Kristin, I hear you girl, it's one of my favorites too!

    @Keeley, go for it!

    @Jonesy, thanks girl, it was delicious!

    @Maddy, I have three weeks of Oprah on my DVR so I haven't seen it yet, but i would hope that Martha would approve. And I've decided to expand my job search to include Jersey as well, so who knows maybe I'll be closer to you soon :)

  6. Butter and bacon grease let me take a moment to shake my head....queso y jamon smh

  7. I'm going to try this. I used to love broccoli until it started irritating my stomach so not i just eat it here and there. But Im going to try this with a bowl of tomato soup



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