Toasted Ciabatta Sandwich with Bacon and Brie
It must be that time of year in Wisconsin. That time where you really crave comfort food. It must be something in the air, whether it is the temperature being in the upper 60’s or the light breeze that goes along with it. This past weekend was a comfort food explosion in my kitchen, and of the many things I did make for the family, one stood out as being a really great combination in flavor, and that being a simple grilled sandwich.
A recent visit to the Milwaukee Cheese Bar set my sight and taste buds on delicious cheese. As I sampled one of their cheese plates, On the Wild Side, I could not stop thinking about what I was going to do with cheese that weekend. I initially thought of using one of my favorite blue cheeses for a sandwich, but I have been using that quiet a bit, I instead decided on going with a creamy French brie cheese. If you have never had brie, I highly recommend it. It is a cow’s cheese, that is soft and creamy with a bit of rind around the cheese which gives the cheese an added flavor. What to pair it with? Bacon, of course. A nice, smokey bacon. I knew my wife would like this sandwich, and on a rainy day, it really hit the spot.
Let’s get started.
- 1 Ciabatta roll, sliced in half lengthwise
- 2 slices of bacon, cooked, per sandwich
- Brie cheese, room temperature, cut into approximately four slices
- 2 tbsp butter, per sandwich
- 1 sprig of thyme, per sandwich
Begin by heating a large cast iron skillet on medium to low heat. Add one tablespoon of butter to the side of each slice of bread. Lay one piece of the bread, butter side down, onto the heated skillet. Top with some brie cheese, then the bacon, thyme, and top with more cheese. Add the second piece of bread to the top of the sandwich, butter side up.
Let the sandwich cook, approximately 3-4 minutes on one side, then gently lift and check for the golden brown toasting color. Once you achieved that golden crust, slip it over, and cook and additional 3-4 minutes, lowering the heat just a bit.
Do not smash the sandwich. Let it do its thing.
Once the other side is toasted, remove the sandwich from the skillet, and let it rest for a few minutes.
The end result is a delicious, melted cheese sandwich that has a pairing like no other. You get the smokiness and crispiness from the bacon along with the creaminess, and a bit of delicious aroma from the outside skin of the brie. Truly simple and delicious. If you are looking to add some more pairing to the matter, slice an apple, or pear and serve alongside your sandwich. Enjoy.