RECIPE: The Best Damn Grilled Cheese I Ever Did Have

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I know everyone else in the world is participating in post-holiday detox right now, but I threw out my back over the weekend (because apparently I turned 50 this year and not 27) and now that I can’t get on the treadmill (my usual post-holiday fix) and work off all those holiday calories, I’ve instead decided to pretend calories don’t exist and keep on indulging.

What do you think? Is this going to work for me? For some reason I think yes.

While you diligently eat your salads, I’m going to keep on slathering roasted Brussels sprouts with fontina cheese on mayonnaise-soaked ciabatta and piling the bacon onion jam just as high as I can and I’m not going to feel bad about it. (Except when I look in the mirror, then I will probably feel a little bit bad about it). But you know what, my back hurts and the comforting calories make it all better.

How were all your Thanksgivings? Did you make something spectacular? Did you have a reasonable amount of adult fun and not go all out like a teenager and wind up hurting yourself? I swear touch football was not involved. Alcohol might have been.

Happy Tuesday!

-Leek

P.S. Stay tuned for a Farm Crush Friday post on one of my absolute favorite Madison non-profits and my first ever giveaway!

ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUT GRILLED CHEESE

Takes 1 hour, 10 minutes
Makes 4 deliciously perfect sandwiches

4 cups Brussels sprouts, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 batch bacon onion jam
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 loaf ciabatta bread (or other favorite grilled cheese bread)– I used ciabatta rolls with the round tops sliced off because it’s what I had in the house
1 apple, cored and sliced
8 ounces Fontina cheese (or other favorite melty cheese), thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper until well-coated. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes until crisp and well-browned. Shake the pan after 20 minutes of roasting for more even browning. Remove from oven and toss with balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.
Prepare the onion jam. Directions can be found here. It takes about 50 minutes. (I also think it’s perfectly acceptable to make a double batch of onion jam weekly, keep it in the fridge and just pile it on every single sandwich you make. I really, really love this stuff).
Once you have your Brussels sprouts and onion jam made, begin toasting the sandwich bread. Heat a skillet (preferably one of these square ones if you have it; perfect for 4 grilled cheeses at a time) over medium heat. Spread a half tablespoon of mayonnaise on each side of all ciabatta bread slices. Put 4 pieces of bread on skillet. Heat until toasted, about 5 minutes. Set aside. Toast remaining 4 slices of bread until golden brown. Reduce heat to low and flip bread slices.
Add grilled cheese ingredients. First a thin slice of cheese followed by apple slices, onion jam, Brussels sprouts** and another slice (or two) of cheese. Top with other pieces of toasted bread (toasted side down, mayonnaise side up). Cook until bread is toasted, about 3 minutes. Flip entire sandwich (very carefully) and cook until bread is toasted and cheese is melty, about 5 minutes. Feel free to smash down the sandwich a little or put something heavy on top of them all. This will help toast that second piece of bread and make your sandwich a little less messy (It will still be very messy.)

** There is a good chance you won’t be able to use all of the Brussels sprouts you roasted. Put as many as you can on the sandwich (without things falling everywhere) and then enjoy the rest on the side!

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