Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Pancetta Grilled Cheese on Texas Toast

When it’s time for a little decadent dinner pleasure, gooey, luscious grilled cheese is high on the list to satisfy. For even greater self-indulgence, add some savory, salty pancetta and grill it all between two thick slices of Texas toast.

Mild muenster is one of the most easily melted cheeses around, so it’s perfect for these sandwiches. (That’s American muenster, not munster cheese from France.) Four ounces of very thinly sliced pancetta may look like quite a stack, but it loses a lot of volume when cooked, so there will be much less when you finish than when you start.

These tasty casual sandwiches are as easy and fast as they are flavorful—very few ingredients and about 10 minutes.

Add a salad or bowl of soup, and this dish will serve four.

Makes 2 sandwiches

  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 4 oz very thin slices of pancetta
  • 4 slices Texas toast (or other thick-cut white bread)
  • 4 slices muenster cheese (about 4 oz total)
  • 2 large, thin tomato slices
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
Sandwich Ingredients
  1. Heat a cast-iron griddle (or large skillet) over medium heat and brush with olive oil. Cook the pancetta until barely beginning to crisp, 4-5 minutes, turning 1 to 2 times. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  2. Set the griddle off-heat and wipe out excess oil.
  3. Lay the bread on a work surface and place 2 slices of muenster on each of 2 pieces. Divide the pancetta and tomato slices on top of the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Place the tops on the sandwiches.
  4. Re-heat the griddle over medium-high heat and add the butter, brushing to coat an area large enough for the sandwiches. Place the sandwiches in it and press with a grill press (or large spatula). Cook until golden brown on the bottom, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Turn the sandwiches over and press until the bread is golden on the other side and the cheeses are melted, 2-3 minutes longer.
Pancetta Beginning to Cook
Cooked Pancetta
Top the Sandwiches 
Sandwiches Beginning to Grill
Grilled Sandwiches
Slice in half on the diagonal and serve hot.

Pancetta Grilled Cheese on Texas Toast

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