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, November 3, 2015

Bacon-and-Avocado Cheese Melts

Bacon lovers…cheese lovers…and, yes, avocado lovers: Here’s an easy, simple dish that satisfies all three tastes in one smoky, gooey, flavor-loaded open-faced sandwich. Top it off with cool, creamy smashed avocado for a palate-pleasing combination of tastes and textures. Note: I used muenster because it's one of the meltiest cheeses around. If you use something else, just be sure it's soft and creamy so that it melts very easily (like fresh mozzarella or provolone).

Tip: The avocado mash is just a simple guacamole mix. Make it after cooking the bacon so that it doesn’t sit long enough to start oxidizing and turning brown.

Another tip: I used a crusty multigrain bread for these sandwiches, but you can choose the hearty bread of your choice. If you choose a rustic, artisan-style loaf, you can still cut small, rectangular slices that work well for the cheese melts. Simply cut off the rounded edges (those freeze well for scrumptious dinner bread on another day), then cut four small slices from the middle:

Multigrain bread loaf 
Cut off rounded edges
Sandwich slices
For another cheese melt idea, check out Chicken-Cheddar Melts with Peppers and Black Olives.

Makes 4 small open-faced sandwiches

  • 4 medium-thick bacon slices, cut crosswise in half
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, halved and pitted
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • sea salt
  • 4 4 X 2-1/2-inch slices multigrain or other crusty bread (about 1/2 inch thick)
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 6 very thin slices muenster cheese (about 4-1/2 oz total), each halved
Sliced Bacon
Sliced Muenster
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon until just cooked through but not crisp, 6-7 minutes, depending on thickness. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  3. Scoop the flesh from the avocado into a bowl and add the garlic, cilantro, and lime juice. Season with salt and mash to a chunky-smooth consistency.
Bacon Beginning to Cook
Cooked Bacon
Avocado Ingredients Ready to Mix 
Avocado Mixture
  1. Lay the bread slices on the baking pan and brush lightly with olive oil. Bake until lightly toasted, 4-5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a heatproof surface. Turn the bread pieces over and brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.
  2. Divide the cheese on top of the bread (3 halves per slice) and place 2 bacon halves on top. Bake until the cheese has melted, 4-5 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving plate.
Bread Ready to Toast
After Turning 
Cheese Added 
Bacon Added
Baked Sandwiches
 Spread a dollop of the avocado mixture on top of each sandwich and serve.

Bacon-and-Avocado Cheese Melts

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