I’ve been on a Honeycrisp kick these last few weeks. You can smell them just driving down the road right now which makes it almost impossible not to stop at a stand and pick up a bag at any given moment. Since the kids eat pretty much 2 apples a day each on average, having a surplus around is never a bad thing. I love even the way that Honeycrisps look. That bright and shiny, almost pinkish red color with just a hint of bright green that pops out somewhere on the apple. They’re gorgeous. And to bite into one, that crunch and flavor…they pack a ton of each.
In terms of how I came to this recipe…I’m a big fan of the wine and cheese deal. I grew up around a lot of both with a bit of James Taylor in the air of the kitchen so it just makes sense that it’s not only enjoyable and relaxing to me, but there’s also a bit of nostalgia attached. The plates always seemed to have red grapes on them, but over time evolved into different fruits and vegetables…apples being one of them. I learned over the years that I really liked what married in my mouth when I ate a slice of apple with almost any cheese be it sharp cheddar, Brie, even Babybel.
I’ve always loved the idea of a grilled cheese sandwich with thin Honeycrisp slices on it so I decided to try it with Gouda this time. And then I thought, why not add bacon? Because it’s always fun to find an excuse to add bacon in. And then I thought, okay now let’s add some rosemary while the bacon crisps up. I mean, it was sitting right there on the counter from the garden like flowers in a vase and I hadn’t done that before so thought why not give it a try. WOW. I was only going to take a bite of this sandwich because I really wasn’t that hungry. WAS being the operative word in that sentence. Let’s consider the next few bites a late afternoon snack.
This creation is so good! The Gouda melts into the apples and bacon making three one, the rosemary adds just a bit of interest without overwhelming flavor, the top toasts up so beautifully…I’m in love. It’s like the perfect mix of sweet and savory and tastes like fall in sandwich form. I’m also a big fan of things in sandwich form.
I get into habits of making certain purchases every time I go to the grocery store, usually surrounding the produce and speciality cheese areas. As an example, I rarely leave without at least one avocado and one jalapeño…even if I already know I have both in my fridge. I know they’ll get used and I have a slight obsession with them. Lately, in addition to those items, I always swing by the cheeses and spreads and ask myself, ‘do I still have salted Irish butter?’. Yup, I’m that specific…it has to be Irish. I have to have it in my fridge at all times. Especially for times like these when butter is going on bread. It’s become a must have around here for bread and potatoes. Oh and for browned butter on pasta. But back to putting it on the bread before toasting. Salted butter on a grilled cheese sandwich of any kinds adds a nuttiness to the bread that is undeniable to me. It just works. So to each their own, but for me, when I make this again (soon), I’ll be keeping my bacon crispy and my butter salted..and this time, my stomach empty and ready for more than just a few bites…