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This panini offers a double pairing of sweet and salty — jam and bacon, cheddar and pear — and makes every bite worth savoring. I find the combination irresistible and even served these at a little dinner party. Casual is the new cool, right? It was fun, and at the very least, a lovely way to welcome fall. // alexandracooks.com

I love my panini machine. Within minutes of getting to work, it perfectly brands both slices of bread with nice grill marks, thoroughly heating everything else in between while allowing just a touch of cheese to ooze out its side (for presentation purposes obviously… such a thoughtful gadget.) If you can afford the kitchen real estate for a rather large uni-purpose tool, I highly recommend adding one of these presses to your arsenal of equipment. And while I’ve never tried one of these cast iron models, I imagine they might be quite good? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Anywho, I mentioned this sandwich last week while posting about thyme-roasted grapes — so delicious. Both recipes appeared in this month’s Real Simple magazine, and both are fantastic, though I must note there is nothing novel about the combination here. A double pairing of sweet and salty — jam and bacon, cheddar and pear — makes every bite worth savoring. I find the combination irresistible and even served these at a little dinner party. Casual is the new cool, right? It was fun, and at the very least, a lovely way to welcome fall.

bacon, cheddar and pear panini
panini ingredients

Mmmmmm… bacon. I don’t know how you cook bacon, but I like to place mine on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast it at 400ºF for about 20 minutes. It cooks evenly and isn’t as messy as stove-top cooking.
cooked bacon

This panini offers a double pairing of sweet and salty — jam and bacon, cheddar and pear — and makes every bite worth savoring. I find the combination irresistible and even served these at a little dinner party. Casual is the new cool, right? It was fun, and at the very least, a lovely way to welcome fall. // alexandracooks.com
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Bacon, Cheddar and Pear Panino


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Description

Adapted from Real Simple September 2011

Note: For the original recipe, follow this link.


Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon jam, such as currant or fig or Ikea’s lingonberry (what I used)
  • 2 slices of nice, bakery-style bread, from a multigrain or Italian boule for example
  • 2 slices Cheddar
  • 2 slices cooked bacon
  • 1/4 small pear, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Heat a panini machine. (Note: If you want to make a grilled cheese, follow the directions on the RS website — link is above.) Spread the jam on 1 slice of the bread. Layer the pear, bacon and cheddar on top.
  2. Press the sandwich in the panini machine until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes total depending on your machine.
bacon, pear and cheddar panini