Thursday, April 14, 2016

Bacon, Brie, and Apricot Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Reduction

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I'd like to introduce you to Weird Pregnancy Post: Exhibit A.

Seriously, I warned you. Only time can tell what strange ingredients I'll be throwing together in the next six months. I'm not really sorry about this one though, because... it's actually awesome. If you ask me. The pregnant lady.

So apparently brie cheese is one of the many billions of delicious things that you aren't supposed to eat during pregnancy. This especially stinks because brie cheese is only about a buck per wedge here in Berlin. No joke.

This fact, along with this baby's strong demand for MORE CHEESE, caused me to find myself googling, "Is there any way a pregnant lady can be allowed to eat brie cheese???".

As it turns out, as long as the cheese is cooked thoroughly, any weird cheese bacterias that could hurt the baby get cooked away. That means it's time for a super melty grilled cheese.

Now about the meat.

I never really especially cared that much about meat before I was pregnant. But now I sometimes find myself crawling half-dead to the fridge in search of sausages and chicken legs for snacks. It instantly revives me every time without fail. Thus the bacon.

To complete the sweet and salty combo, I decided to add some apricot preserves. It only took me about ten minutes of standing and staring at all the different jams in the grocery store to finally pick apricot over fig or raspberry. I think I made the right decision.

And finally the balsamic reduction. You may remember this from the eggplant pizzas I posted a while ago. It's pretty much my new favorite thing. Plus I always cheat and make it in the microwave so it pretty much just makes itself.

As you can see, the sandwich couldn't even last long enough for me to finish taking photos of it.

"I'll just take one nice looking bite for the pictures," I told myself.

Apparently that photo above was my idea of "one nice looking bite".

That one wasn't good enough, so I took one more bite...

The other half was soon to follow. I'd say it was a success.

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    • Bacon, Brie, and Apricot Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Reduction

    • A few slices of bacon
    • Sandwich bread (sourdough would be awesome, but I used this gluten free bread)
    • Apricot preserves (or jam) 
    • Brie cheese
    • Butter 
    • About 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
    • Fresh Basil
    • Cook the bacon and remove from pan. Cool on paper towel.
    • Spread apricot preserves on bot slices of bread. Add slices of brie and the cooked bacon and sandwich together. Liberally butter both sides of the sandwich on the outside and cook, covered, over medium heat, flipping halfway through until the bread is browned and the cheese is melted (if the cheese still isn't melted all the way, sometimes I just take the sandwich apart and put the cheese directly on the pan for a few seconds).
    • Meanwhile, put the balsamic vinegar in a small, microwavable cup or bowl in the microwave. Stir every minute until it starts to boil. Then stir ever 20 seconds until syrupy (you can also do this on the stove).
    • Drizzle the finished grilled cheese with the balsamic reduction and garnish with basil if desired. Enjoy.

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