Ghoulishly Gooey Grilled Cheese with Fennel and Pancetta
- 7 tablespoons Darigold butter, divided
- 1 fennel bulb, top removed, bulb cored and very thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- ¼ pound thinly sliced pancetta
- 8 slices whole-grain artisan bread
- 2 cups shredded Darigold sharp cheddar cheese
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fennel, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently until the fennel is lightly browned. Add ¼ cup water and continue to cook until fennel is tender and water has evaporated (10-15 minutes total). Transfer to a bowl. Add another tablespoon of butter and the pancetta to the skillet and cook pancetta until browned on both sides (5-6 minutes). Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Spread 4 slices of bread on a cutting board. Top each slice with ½ cup of the cheese, pancetta and fennel, dividing evenly. Cover with the remaining bread and press sandwiches together.
Melt half the remaining butter in the skillet over medium-high heat and brush onto the tops of the sandwiches. Add two of the sandwiches to the skillet, melted butter side up, and cook, occasionally pressing down with a spatula until the underside of the sandwich is browned. Turn and cook the sandwich until bottoms are browned and cheese is melted. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches and butter.
RECIPE YIELD/SERVING SIZE
Makes 4 servings.