03 February 2010

Grilled Asiago Panino with Tomato, Arugula, and Pig Jam

This is the ultimate Sunday lunch.  It's cold outside, but the sun is coming in through the window.  Stay in your pajamas all day, make this sandwich, and kick back to Coltrane's "Kulu Sé Mama".  Don't forget the Peroni.


some good bread  (I use slab bread or a ciabatta)
Asiago Fresco  (a young, soft variety), grated
pig jam
fresh Tomato slices
olive oil
sea salt

It helps to place the cheese in the freezer for an hour prior to grating. Warm a skillet over medium high heat.  Brush outsides of bread lightly with olive oil.  Layer cheese over arugula on one side and spread pig jam on the other.  Grill sandwiches using a panino press or other heavy object (a brick or second cast iron pan works well).  After you have finished grilling, turning once, carefully open the sandwich and lay in the tomato slices, sprinkling with a touch of sea salt.  Open a beer, and serve.

Recipe for Bacon Jam or as I now say,

Pig Jam!      ...Umami personified.
Adapted from Not Quite Nigella Source: yumsugar

1 lb good quality thick cut bacon (uncured)
1 large onion, sliced thinly
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. dark brown sugar
2 T. Sriracha sauce
1 C. coffee
1/4 C. apple cider vinegar
1/4 C. maple syrup (grade A dark amber)
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 t. hot smoked Spanish paprika (NOT sweet)
1 T. red wine vinegar

In a large, heavy pot, cook bacon in batches over medium high heat until it is lightly browned and beginning to crisp.  Set aside.  Add onion and garlic to fat and cook until translucent and beginning to caramelize, 10 to 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, slice the bacon into 1" strips, crosswise.  Return bacon to pan and add the brown sugar, coffee, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer over the lowest heat possible (maintaining a simmer), for 3 or 4 hours, stirring occasionally.  Jam will turn very dark and should be quite thick.  Cool for 20 or 30 minutes and place in a food processor. Chop using the pulse button until blended to liking.  Return to pot, cover and refrigerate over night.  Return pot to stove and scrape off most of the fat from top.  Add black pepper to taste, smoked paprika, and red wine vinegar.  Heat over low heat for 45 minutes until almost all of the liquid is evaporated.  If desired, place in a stainer over a glass bowl to drain any excess fat and allow to cool, Keep stored in refrigerator in a glass container.

Repeat as necessary.


  1. This sounds like a very filling sandwich. The ingredients make a new combination to me, so I must try to see the result.

  2. Wow...this bacon jam looks seriously good...Completely agree with the smoked paprika as an ingredient...Love to sneak that spice into anything appropriate that I come upon...Speaking of coming upon, have you come upon any of the bizarre products from the baconaisse folks? Check it out...www.baconaisse.com (it has no bacon in it...scary? Maybe I should try it before judging...)They feature bacon salt, mayonaisse, etc...