If you know anything about our Head Chef Elana Karp, you know that she takes her grilled cheese game very seriously. In our never-ending quest for new ways to jazz up grilled cheese, she dreamed up a sweet and savory version that will knock you off your feet. Homemade fig compote adds depth to melty Brie and fontina cheeses draped over sourdough bread. The result is perhaps the most epic grilled cheese ever. Be excited. Be very, very excited.
The sandwiches should have mayonnaise on the outer sides, so that they will turn crisp and golden brown in the pan.
Weighing the grilled cheese down ensures even crispness throughout the entire surface area of the bread.
4 ounces dried mission figs
2 ounces brie cheese
6 ounces frisée lettuce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
4 teaspoons mayonnaise
4 slices sourdough bread
3 ounces fontina cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup water
6″ small pot
12″ large nonstick pan
10″ medium pan or other heavy object
Roughly chop figs. Thinly slice Brie and refrigerate until ready to use. Rinse frisée. Halve orange.
In a small pot over medium-high heat,combine sugar, cinnamon stick, ½ cup water, figs, juice of 1 orange, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until softened, about 5 minutes more, breaking figs up with a spoon. Remove pot from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together half packet mustard, half packet honey, Champagne vinegar, ⅛ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Slowly stream in 2 tablespoons olive oil until dressing comes together and oil emulsifies. Set aside.
While compote cools, spread mayonnaise on 1 side of each bread slice. Lay 2 bread slices on a clean, dry surface, mayonnaise-side down and top with sliced brie and fontina. Spoon fig compote over cheese, reserving ½ cup of compote for serving, and top with remaining 2 bread slices, mayonnaise side up (see Recipe Tip).
Add sandwiches to a large nonstick pan over medium heat and place a medium heavy pan or another heavy object on top (see Recipe Tip). Cook until bread is golden and cheese is melted, about 4 minutes per side.
Add frisée to bowl with dressing and toss to coat. Divide frisée salad between two plates. Serve with grilled cheese and remaining fig compote. Achieve grilled cheese nirvana.