An Open Apology To My Readers: I know that we are less than two weeks into the New Year and many of you have resolved to eat healthier and lose weight, which is what makes today’s post a blasphemy. A Trojan horse in your carefully cultivated healthy-foods kitchen.
It is neither designed to improve your health, nor trim your waistline. I could opine about Fontina being a good source of calcium, or that pancetta is low in carbs, guava jam isn’t overly caloric, jalapeños are loaded with Vitamin A and a hearty sourdough has 12% of your daily iron requirements. But come on… you know that’s not what this is about. Crispy Pancetta Guava Grilled Cheese is pure comfort food.
And the reason I’m posting this today — is that on Monday — Scott and I are going ALL IN on our diets. No more carbs, no more sweets — not even fruit — and sadly — miserably no more wine. So today we celebrate our hedonism in all its gustatory glory.
This grilled cheese isn’t your standard Velveeta on white bread. No. It addresses all the spots on your tongue — Sweet, Salty, Spicy (and bitter — if you burn the crust) and gives you a double punch of crunch with a buttered, pan-toasted sourdough and thin, crisped slices of pancetta (cured Italian bacon, for the uninitiated). Those crunchy components combined with the oozy, sweet guava jam and melty, rich Fontina — well that is nirvana, folks. And let’s not forget the sliced jalapeño, which is like an unexpected backhanded thwap upside your head, adding a delightful tingle to the sandwich. BTW — the guava jam in this recipe is one I made last month — and I used the last of it in this beast of a sammie!
Warning: Only eat this sandwich if you are in a place where napping is an approved past time!
- vegetable spray
- 4-5 very thin slices pancetta
- 1/2 cup shredded fontina (or any mild, melty cheese such as gruyere or mozzarella)
- 2 rounded tablespoons guava jam
- 1 jalapeno pepper, very thinly sliced
- two slices rustic sourdough bread
- olive oil or softened butter for brushing the outside of the bread
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Set a skillet over medium high heat for a minute to warm up. Spray the pan with vegetable spray and add the pancetta in a single layer to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, flipping occasionally until browned and crisp. Transfer pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Clean and dry the pan and set aside.
- Brush one side of the bread lightly with olive oil or butter. Turn the bread over and spread one slice with the guava jam. Mound the other slice with the gruyere cheese. Scatter the cheese with sliced jalapeños and top with crisped pancetta. Place the slice of guava coated bread (guava side down - duh!!!) on top of the pancetta.
- Heat the stove to medium-medium high and add the butter to melt. When it's bubbly and hot place the sandwich, cheese side down onto the pan and cook until the cheese begins to melt and the bread is browned and crisp. Flip the sandwich and cook until the bread is toasted on the other side and the inside is gooey. Keep watch over the sandwich so it doesn't burn, regulating your heat and flipping the sammie again, if necessary.