Cherry Bomb

12 Sep

Days are cooling off, and this amazing grilled cheese is a tempting way to warm up.

Meet the Cherry Bomb: a brie, bacon and candied cherry tomato creation from Liana Robberecht, the executive chef for the Petroleum Club.

Creamy brie, citrus, smokey bacon, black pepper and sweet candied tomatoes sound like heaven.
It also sounds like a mega fattening calorie bomb, so maybe it’s a sandwich to share!

UPDATE: The candied tomatoes make a great topper for baked brie. So sugary, tho. Nice citrus and herb flavours.

CHERRY BOMB
To make it easier to slice the brie, place it in the freezer for 30 minutes.

4 ½-inch (1-cm) thick slices French bread, about 4-[1/2] inches (11-cm) square

2 tbsp (25 mL) butter, softened

1 small wheel of triple cream brie, about 4 oz (125 g), rind cut off, sliced into 4 equal slices

Candied Tomatoes (recipe follows)

6 slices of cooked bacon

¼ tsp (1 mL) fresh cracked black pepper

½ tsp (2 mL) Maldon sea salt

CANDIED TOMATOES
2 cups (500 mL) cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half and seeded (approx. 24)

1 ½ cups (375 mL) granulated sugar

1 bay leaf

1 sprig of thyme

½ sprig of rosemary

2 slices each lemon and orange

1 tbsp (15 mL) vermouth or white wine

In a glass bowl, combine tomatoes, sugar, bay leaf, thyme and rosemary. Squeeze juice from lemon and orange slices and add along with the rind; toss making sure the tomatoes are covered with the sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat, add tomato mixture and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add vermouth and cook for 1 minute. Strain through sieve into a bowl, reserving the liquid. Discard stems and rinds. Refrigerate candied tomatoes and liquid to cool.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Place bread slices on a work surface; butter one side and turn over butter side down. Place one slice of brie on each bread slice. Top two slices evenly with the candied tomatoes and bacon. Sprinkle each slice of bread with pepper. Cover tomato side with the brie side, leaving butter side out.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Cook sandwiches for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Place skillet in oven, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Meanwhile, prepare Candied Tomato-Lemon Vinaigrette. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk candied tomato liquid, lemon rind and juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in oil. Taste and adjust seasoning. Place salad in a bowl and toss with enough dressing to coat. Divide among plates.

Let sandwich rest for 1 minute; cut in half and place on plates; sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately.

Serves 2.

Candied Tomato–Lemon Vinaigrette

2 tbsp (25 mL) reserved candied tomato liquid

1 tsp (5 mL) grated lemon rind

1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice

1 tsp (5 mL) apple cider vinegar

Pinch each of salt and pepper

¼ cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil

2 cups (500 mL) favourite mixed salad

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