Grilled Goat Cheese, Bacon, and Jam Breakfast Sandwich

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While it’s not the prettiest specimen, this sandwich is one of my all-time favorite, go-to breakfasts (and honestly, lunches). It’s a little weird with the bacon, cheese, egg, and jam all mingled together, but it’s weird in the most sensical way…I promise. It hits all of my cravings–salty, sweet, rich, tangy, and crisp–in each bite. Honestly, I can’t believe I’ve never shared this with you before because we have it ALL THE TIME.

A version of this sandwich often makes weekend appearances when we want something more than just cold cereal for breakfast. I almost always have the ingredients on hand and switch them up according to whatever is in the refrigerator. If I don’t have goat cheese, I will happily swap in cheddar, pepper jack, fontina, or whatever there is hanging out in the cheese drawer. If there isn’t any bacon–ham, proscuitto, or any pork product works just as well. An egg is always required, and if I weren’t pregnant, you’d better believe it’d be a runny one. The jam gets mixed up too–this time I used marionberry because–I live in Portlandia* now–and it’s was in the fridge. If I have some leaves of arugula wilting away in the crisper drawer, those go in there as well for some spicy-green bite. Really it’s an anything goes sandwich so long as you have a sweet, jammy spread, some sort of salty-cured pork situation, an egg, cheese, and some bread.

*Ps, when my brother-in-law and his gf were here visiting last week, we definitely waited in an out-the-door-long brunch line, walked by a store with birds on everything, and they saw Carrie and Fred handing out Voodoo donuts at Powell’s books. True life.

Grilled Goat Cheese, Bacon, and Jam Breakfast Sandwich

I mean, I know you can make a sandwich without a recipe, but look at this as a guide to a deliciously weird breakfast.

2 slices bread

soft butter

jam of choice

goat cheese

2 slices crispy bacon, cut in half

fried egg, however you like

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Butter the bread on the sides that will make contact with the pan. Spread a thin layer of jam on the opposite sides of the bread that are buttered. Spread or sprinkle some goat cheese chunks on one piece of the bread on the jam side, lay the slices of bacon across the top and place the egg on top of that. Top it all with the second piece of bread, jam side on the inside, and grill in the heated pan until the goat cheese is melty and the bread is golden brown and crisp on both sides. EAT.

 

 

 

Raspberry Goat Cheese Ice Cream

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So, I have this thing where I LOVE goat cheese. I love it on salads, in quesadillas, scrambled with eggs, on a cheese plate, with this conserve…love it.

I know a lot of other people who feel the same and we can dine happily together, eating all the goat cheese we want. There are others who hate it though and won’t touch it, not even nut-crusted and fried sitting atop a pile of greens (deeeelish!). It seems to be a very divisive cheese, this goat variety.

I have tried to translate my love of goat cheese into an ice cream before and it was a disaster. Not only did I try to serve it to friends that were in the latter party mentioned above, but I also over-did it on the cheese. It was not sweet enough and far, far too…goat-ish? Yeah, just too much goat cheese, not enough ice cream. This time, I dialed back the goat cheese and stirred in some raspberry puree–making a pale pink ice cream with the tart berry flavor of rasberries and the creamy tang of chevre. There’s enough sugar here to bring the goats cheese from cheese-plate to dessert plate–the flavor is reminiscent of cheesecake, but with the tangy assertiveness of goat cheese.

Raspberry Goat Cheese Ice Cream

Adapted from Jeni’s Spendid Ice Creams at Home 

2 cups whole milk

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1 1/4 cup heavy cream

2/3 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 Tablespoons (1.5 oz) cream cheese, softened

5 ounces soft, plain goat cheese (like chevre), softened

raspberry puree–made from 2 containers of raspberries blended with 1/4 cup sugar and sieved to remove seeds

In a small bowl whisk together 1/4 cup of the milk with the cornstarch. Set the slurry aside. Place cream cheese and goat cheese in a large heatproof bowl, set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a low boil and quickly whisk in slurry. Continue whisking and bring the mixture to a boil, to thicken, continue to cook and whisk for an additional minute. Mixture should be thick enough to leave whisk tracks behind. Whisk a ladleful of the hot mixture into the cheeses to combine, pour in the rest of the hot mixture and whisk well to combine. Whisk in the raspberry puree to combine well and pour the mixture into a large zip-top bag and cool in an ice bath. Once cooled, process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Scrape into a container, cover, and freeze to set.

 

 

Herbed Turkey Burgers with Goat Cheese and Cranberry Sauce

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Guess what?

I pretty much make dinner 7 nights a week. For real. It’s not always fancy, or meaty, or exciting in the least. Sometimes it’s just whatever is wasting away in the crisper drawer combined with rice, sweet or regular potatoes, pasta, or tortillas. I just love a carb-y vehicle to drive the food home (in this case, home is my mouth).

I take the weekends as a cue to make something fun and exciting. I test out recipes I’ve had pinned, bookmarked, or have schemed up. A couple of weekends ago, it was rich and delicious chicken pot pie. The next weekend, fried chicken sandwiches with extra pickles. This past weekend, it was these amazeballs turkey burgers.

Yeah, man…they were amazeballs.  That wasn’t even a typo.

I mean, it’s a burger. We’re burger fanatics in this house. It doesn’t really matter what kind of patty it is…we’re totally into bean burgers, as well as the classic beef, and we’ve even been known to love a pork or chicken burger. Ground turkey is always a lean and easy to find option, but it can be dry and bland.

I try to jazz  up  turkey burgers with lots of herbs (sage & rosemary) and aromatics (onions & garlic), and ensure juiciness with a little greek yogurt. Then, there’s the bun and the toppings, which cannot be ignored. In this case it was my favorite Light Brioche bun, some soft goat cheese, lemony cranberry sauce, spinach (for some green), and some grainy mustard. It was pretty much Thanksgiving on a burger and it was love.

What kind of burger are you in love with?

Herbed Turkey Burgers with Goat Cheese and Cranberry Sauce

This burger is a meal in and of itself, but it’s totally appropriate to serve with a side of sweet potato fries.

Cranberry Sauce

12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries

1/2-3/4 cup sugar (to taste)

zest of 1 lemon

juice of one lemon

3/4 cup water

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and cook until cranberries burst, give off their juice, and thicken (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve if desired. Pour into a heatproof jar and allow to cool. Refrigerate. Will thicken as it cools.

Turkey Burger

1/2 medium onion, diced fine

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped, fresh sage

2 teaspoons minced, fresh rosemary

1 pound lean, ground turkey

1 egg

2 tablespoons greek yogurt

3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

salt and pepper to taste

goat cheese, grainy mustard, and spinach leaves to serve

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, sweat onions and garlic. Once onions become translucent, add sage and rosemary and saute another minute. Do not brown or the garlic may burn. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl combine ground turkey, egg, yogurt, breadcrumbs, and cooled onion/herb mixture. Mix gently to combine. Divide meat into 4 sections and shape into patties (about 1/4-1/2 inch thick), making a shallow well in the center. Refrigerate patties for 20 minutes to firm up.

Heat a heavy skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle patties liberally with salt and pepper, cook, flipping only once, for about 4 minutes on each side. Top with goat cheese, add a splash of water to the pan (1 tablespoon is good) and cover until liquid evaporates. This will soften the cheese, but not melt it since goat cheese doesn’t really melt. Place burgers on toasted buns with mustard and spinach, top with cranberry sauce.

Light Wheat Brioche Buns

I used King Arthur White Whole Wheat and regular whole wheat flour. You can use whatever you like or just use bread flour.

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

 

3/4 cup warm water

1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons warm milk

2 teaspoons dry yeast

2 tablespoons honey

1 large egg

1 1/2 cups bread flour

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

4 tablespoons butter, room temperature

poppy seeds or sesame seeds for sprinkling

1 egg + i tablespoon cream for egg wash

Measure out warm water and milk into a glass measuring cup. Stir in honey and then yeast. Allow to rest 5 minutes until foamy.

Lightly beat the egg in a small dish and set aside.

In a stand mixer, whisk together flours and salt. Rub butter into flour mixture with your fingertips. Mix in the yeast and water mixture, as well as the egg. Knead with the dough hook for 5 minutes. The dough will pull from the sides of the bowl and form a ball, the dough ball should be tacky to the touch. Rise, covered with plastic for 1-2 hours until doubled in bulk.

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll into balls. Place the dough portions on a parchemnet lined baking sheet and cover loosely, allow to rise another hour.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Whisk together egg and cream, brush the tops of the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds. Bake buns in the center of the oven for 15 minutes. The buns should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Allow to cool on a cooling rack. Buns can be baked and frozen in a resealable plastic bag for use later.  Just defrost for 1-2 hours on the counter, or overnight in the refrigerator.