If you own a panini maker, Kathy Strahs’ Panini Happy is a must visit. It is a deep resource of breakfast, dinner and dessert panini combinations and one that I visit regularly for Panini Sunday.
For this Sunday, I went with Kathy’s brie, blue, bacon and basil number with a couple of changes that I will note below.
WHAT WORKED: Local cheese. Instead of brie, I opted for Wake Robin Farms‘ Farmers Fromage. This creamy spreadable cheese has the earthy flavor of a brie, with saltiness you might associate with a chevre. Pretty cool flavor profile that would ordinarily balance out the blue cheese and bacon.
WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: “Wow. Blue cheese, right?” She made it with that face of disapproval. Go easy on the blue cheese.
WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Probably not. It was a nice one-time effort, but I would rather incorporate the Farmer’s Fromage with something else. I’m just not sure what.
Brie, blue, bacon and basil panini
By Kathy Strahs
- 1 French baguette, divided into 4 portions
- 8 oz. brie cheese, sliced, with or without rinds (I used a spreadable Farmer’s cheese from Wake Robin Farms)
- 2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
- 8 fresh basil leaves
- 8 strips cooked bacon
For each sandwich: Slice the dome off of the baguette to create a flat grilling surface. Split the baguette in half lengthwise to create top and bottom halves. Inside the bottom half, lay down a thin layer of Brie slices and sprinkle a little blue cheese (according to your taste) on top. Add two leaves of basil, two strips of bacon, more blue cheese and more Brie. Close the sandwich with the top baguette half.
Grill the panini, two at a time, until the cheese is melted and the baguette is toasted, 4 to 5 minutes.