My favorite grilled cheese sandwich is a simple affair. Layered with Black Truffle cheese and fresh pears, it makes the most elegant of grilled cheese sandwiches. Only four ingredients are required: bread, butter, black truffle cheese, and firm ripe pears.
Prepare with thick slices of buttery egg-based bread. Brown one side of the bread, turn over, fill, then brown the other side of the bread so the interior holds its structure. Cook in a pan, on a griddle, or in a panino press. You know I love it with sparkles…Prosecco, cava, champagne, or other sparkling wine makes the perfect accompaniment. If serving with white wine, choose one with fruit or pear undertones and light minerality, or a little herbaceous or grassy. As an enticing appetizer or main dish, it is pure indulgence…you're worth it!
2 slices bread: French Brioche Loaf, Challah, or other egg-based soft bread, cut into 3/4-inch (1.9-cm) thick slices
3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces or 42 g) unsalted butter for the pan or griddle or directly on bread for panino press, divided in half
1/2 small firm ripe pear, with skin on, thinly sliced (Forelle or Bartlett are perfect in this panino)
3 ounces (85 g) Black Truffle Cheese
1. Browning One Side of Each Bread Slice: Over low heat, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons (21 g) butter in a pan or on the griddle, be careful not to brown or burn the butter. Place two slices of bread flat on the surface and cook until golden brown, about 20 to 60 seconds. (Or spread butter on one side of each bread slice for the panino press and lightly brown in the preheated press.) Transfer bread to a large plate.
2. Assemble: The browned sides become the interior so the sandwich does not get soggy. Arrange thin slices of cheese, then thin pear slices with skin on to hold their shape, then top with more cheese. Cover with browned side down of other bread slice.
3. Over low heat, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons (21 g) butter in a pan or on the griddle, be careful not to brown or burn the butter. Place the sandwich, unbrowned side down, and cook until golden brown, about 20 to 60 seconds. Turn over, repeat. Partially cover the sandwich with a heatproof transparent lid or foil sheet during this time to force the heat to soften the cheese. When done, the truffle cheese is just melted and the pear slices are very warm but not mushy. (Or spread butter on the unbrowned side of each bread slice for the panino press and lightly brown in the preheated press.)
Transfer sandwich to a serving plate. Slice into halves, quarters, or gougonettes and serve while warm.