Late Night Snacks: Open Faced Bacon Grilled Cheese

It’s been mentioned a million times, my favorite food is cheese. There are always odds and ends in my fridge, thanks to my obsession with Maywood Marketplace, and now my employment with Whole Foods Market. I also usually have bacon in my fridge or freezer, both because I believe its effects on men in the art of seduction, and because it’s such a tasty, versatile ingredient.

Because of my cholesterol raising refrigerator stockpile, I’m usually prepared to put together a tasty late night snack. You can put together a pretty tasty grilled cheese sandwich with minimal effort by using your oven and not your frying pan – less mess to worry about in the morning.

Oven Baked Open Faced Grilled Cheese
Prepare bacon using your broiler setting. Arrange slices in a single layer on a lined cookie sheet (you can use parchment paper or aluminum foil). I like to brush the bacon with a bit of brown sugar and maple syrup to balance out the saltines of both the bacon and the cheese. Broil on low about 10 minutes or to your desired crispiness. Remember, you will be baking it once more for sandwiches, so you might want to leave it a bit chewier than normal as it will crisp up during the baking process. Meanwhile, spread a thin layer of butter on one side of each slice of bread you will be using, probably about a teaspooon per slice. As for cheese, I like to grate odds and ends of whatever is in my fridge that will melt well – I’ve used gouda, emmentaler, cheddar, manchego, robusto, UnieKaas, fontina, etc. When you’re ready, set the oven to 350 degrees, arrange bacon in a single layer on the dry, non-buttered side of the bread, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake sandwiches in the oven about 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Eat open faced with a knife and fork, or just close those puppies up and enjoy as normal.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Perhaps a phrase you hear few people utter, but Brussels sprouts are my favorite vegetable. I feel they get a bad rap because folks just don’t know how to prepare them properly. Boiled and steamed, they are nasty. Baked, roasted, sauteed, etc., methods that incorporate flavor while maintaining a nice bite, those are the ways you should enjoy them.

Last night I came up with a quick and easy recipe that only utilized five ingredients and only took about 10 minutes to prep. Even better, under 150 calories per serving!

ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH BACON

Makes 4 servings
1 12 oz. bag Brussels sprouts
8 strips bacon, raw
2 tablespoons olive oil
Ground black pepper
Ground nutmeg

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Layer strips of bacon into one equal stack. Cut into small squares, about 1/2 in in size. Place in bowl.
  3. Wash sprouts, dry thoroughly, and cut in halves. Place in bowl over bacon.
  4. Add olive oil and seasonings, mix ingredients thoroughly.
  5. Line a small baking sheet with either parchment paper or aluminum foil. Spread out sprouts in one layer. Roast until sprouts are slightly brown and semi-tender, about 1 hour.

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