This Is Exactly Why You Should Petition For A Stove In Your Office Break Room.
Okay, look. The absolute bestest thing about working from home — aside from the fact that the mutts get more time outside and I don’t ever actually have to get dressed if I don’t feel like it — is the fact that I have access to a stove.
I mean, last time I checked, office break rooms are kind of limited in the kitchen appliance department.
And for most people that’s totally fine. They can bring a cold sandwich to work or last night’s leftovers or grab some takeout from the place across the street. No big deal.
I love grilled cheese sandwiches.
And it’s kind of difficult to make one without a stove.
The beauty of a grilled cheese is that it’s fast and simple to make, and you can concoct it with anything you’d like — Italian grilled cheese with grated mozzarella, oregano and garlic powder, or a super American grilled cheese with sharp cheddar, bacon and guacamole — whatever your heart desires.
Often, my heart desires the classic monstrosity of my youth — a couple of slabs of bread, some butter, and exactly two rubbery Kraft Singles slices of I-think-it-might-be-cheese-but-I’m-not-really-sure.
I don’t mess with nostalgia.
But then sometimes — and completely unintentionally — I have on-hand the ingredients for a truly decadent grilled cheese.
What? Not everyone keeps Bosc pears, hazelnuts, and goat brie as pantry staples?
I mostly had this stuff because of the cleanse.
The hazelnuts are leftovers, and I now buy Bosc pears to eat as a snack because I didn’t even realize how much I like Bosc pears until the cleanse made me eat them.
And the goat brie?
I’m pretty sure I found a recipe I wanted to try that called for it, bought some, then promptly forgot what the recipe was.
What? That never happens to you?
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, who takes the time to make a damn gourmet sandwich for lunch?
But here’s the thing. I’m quickly discovering that in working from home, I’m missing out on a lot of human interaction. I sit quietly by myself in my office for nine hours a day, so slipping away to the kitchen to fix myself a decent lunch every-now-and-then is a way to keep my mind from slipping into an empty vortex of isolation.
And also I just really like cheese.
It turns out goat brie — at least the kind I bought — is a lot milder than regular cow brie, which makes it much more palatable to your typical Kraft Singles grilled cheese eater.
I found this recipe from Cookin’ Canuck while randomly typing ingredients I thought I could use into Google to see what I could find.
I didn’t have any arugula on-hand, but I’m not really a I-should-put-salad-greens-inside-my-grilled-cheese-to-trick-myself-into-thinking-it’s-healthy kind of girl, so I didn’t worry about it.
And it was phenomenal.
The kind of lunch that takes ten minutes to make, but makes you feel like you stopped at a quaint European cafe for lunch.
Anybody can make this. It just takes a little forethought when it comes to buying the ingredients.
But trust me — it’s worth it.
Here’s how to make it the way I did:
Honey, Pear, Hazelnut, & Goat Brie Grilled Cheese
- 2 slices of bread (I wish I’d had a fancy loaf like Cookin’ Canuck, but my plain ol’ grocery store wheat loaf worked just fine)
- 2-ish tablespoons of butter
- Thinly sliced goat brie cheese (trim off the white rind)
- 1-2 teaspoons of hazelnuts, chopped and lightly toasted
- 1/2 of a Bosc pear, sliced
- Honey for drizzle
1. Chop the hazelnuts and toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant and lightly browned.
2. Pre-heat a non-stick dry skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, butter one side of a slice of bread and lay it butter side down on a plate. (Seriously. Use softened butter. Not margarine. You’ll thank me. After you’re done cursing me for causing you to tear several holes through your bread if the butter isn’t soft enough.) Then on the non-buttered side of the bread, layer on the brie, toasted hazelnuts, sliced pear, and honey.
The lighting in my kitchen was horrible that day. It was rainy and dark outside, which pretty much required the eating of warm, gooey grilled cheese for lunch.
3. Butter one side of your second piece of bread, and lay it butter side up on top of your sandwich. Toast the sandwich nice and slowly over medium heat until the cheese is nice and melty and the bread is golden brown.
Go ahead and eat the rest of your pear while you wait. It’s like a built-in way to pass the time.
Then, you eat.
And relish the fact that because you work from home, you also have more time to work out.
Even though you probably won’t.
But it’s the thought that counts, right?