Monday, April 30, 2012

Guacamole, Pancetta and 2 Cheese Sandwich

I'm a big fan of the aul Guacamole, it's an under used substance in Irish society. I'd never made it before today though, I'd been a bit put off by all the different recipes doing the rounds so I decided to check with Roisin Dempsey, maker of the finest guacamole in Newbridge. Simplicity seems to be the key, ripe avocados being the main ingredient, with just some lime juice, garlic and salt and pepper.

I've also been curious about those little packets of bacon bits and how they'd do in a sandwich. They're little cubes of dry cured Italian bacon which in itself, I'm told, is called Pancetta. I've always thought that some sandwiches aren't suited to having bacon in one big strip. It can sometimes, especially in melted cheese situations, bond with all the other fillings and pull everything out with your first bite, making a mess of your well deserved snack.

I've seen "Grilled Cheese with Guacamole" doing the rounds on the internet for a while and I've been looking forward to trying it. I've decided to add cream cheese to the cheddar cheese as they work fantastic together in these type of hot sandwiches and switch out traditional rashers with pancetta. A little tomato never hurts either!

Altogether I used 2 avocados, a lime, 2 cloves of garlic and salt and pepper for the guacamole, then some grated cheddar cheese, cream cheese, a tomato, the pancetta and this sandwich bread which I find, strangely enough, is good for sandwiches.

First off I prepared the Guacamole. It's important to use ripe avocados, give em an aul squeeze when your buying them and pick the soft ones. Cut them in 2 like this and remove the conker on steroids that resides in their core.

Finely chop up a couple of cloves of garlic. I don't know if this qualifies as finely chopped but it's as finely as I could manage.

Scoop out the flesh of the avocado with a spoon, add the garlic and the juice of a lime to the mix, through in a little salt and good dose of pepper then mash the shit out of it...

...Until it looks a little something like this. This is actually quite a lot, if I was only using it for a couple of sandwiches half this would have easily done. Rest assured it won't go to waste, I'm sure I'll find some class of a crisp to shovel it down with.

Next up is this gear. One of these portions was plenty for 2 sandwiches. 

I just threw it on a frying pan for a few minutes until it crisped up a little, no need for oil, it's full of grease as it is. It's no harm to drain off that grease when it's done either, spare half a thought for your ticker!

Now it's time to construct the sandwich. I spread the cream cheese on both slices of bread then spread a nice layer of guacamole on top of one of those. I grated up some cheese and cut 4 thin slices of tomato.

Then on the guacamole slice I sprinkled some of the pancetta cubes while the grated cheese and tomato was arranged on the other slice.

Close her up and butter the outside thoroughly, then lob it onto the frying pan butter side down.

With the buttered side cooking butter the upward facing slice. Give it 90 seconds to 2 minutes on each side. Keep an eye on it though, carefully lifting the corners with a spatula. Under cooking or over cooking can spoil a fried sandwich.

You should end up with something like this.

It was pretty fecking nice, well worth a try if you're into the effort of it all. I've never had shop bought guacamole but I doubt it's as good as the freshly made stuff but it could save a lot of time. A few tips if you're going to try this would be to not over do it on the guacamole, it's a strong element of the sandwich and you don't want to go overboard. On the other hand don't be afraid to use plenty of cream cheese and cheddar cheese, they match up great with the guacamole while the tomato being a classic ingredient only adds to the buzz. The pancetta adds another great element to this, the strong salty flavour cuts great with everything else and also adds a nice chewy bite. Don't be afraid to add plenty of this either.

Until the next time, I've been the Boozey Swine.

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