A Guest Post By My Better Half

My husband ventures to cook only a handful of times per year, so when it happens I clear the way. This time, not only did he feel compelled to recreate a mouthwatering sandwich he saw Bobby Flay demonstrate on TV…he also needed to write about it on my blog. Everyone, please give a warm welcome to Mike in his first-ever blog post! P.S. One bite of this sandwich confirmed in my mind why he wanted to make and share it. Amazing!

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Hi, this is a guest post from Mike, Kathy’s husband.  I’ve never posted before, and I don’t often cook.  BUT, this past week, when Kathy was out of town and I was home from my “workjob” to watch our kids, a segment on daytime TV rang my bell.  Bobby Flay was on Access Hollywood Live making Grilled Brie and Goat Cheese with Bacon and Green Tomato sandwiches to promote his Bobby Flay’s Throwdown! cookbook.  Co-hosts Billy Bush and Kit Hoover did a great segment, but Bobby had me with this sandwich long before The Talent offered their rave reviews.  This Daddy knew immediately that he was going to make that sandwich.

Bobby Flay's Throwdown!And why not?  First, Kathy and I love all the key ingredients.  Goat cheese?  Yuppers.  Brie?  Why not.  Bacon?  You betcha.  Second, Kathy and I are big Bobby Flay fans.  We’ve made our pilgrimage to Mesa Grill in New York (yes, we met Bobby there), and we’ve watched all his shows on Food Network. If Bobby says a sandwich works, then we trust it will be good.  Lastly, it looked simple and easy enough that I wasn’t intimidated, and I knew I could pull it off.  I found the recipe on FoodNetwork.com, Kathy approved my selection, and we found some time this weekend to proceed.

We made a couple minor substitutions.  First, the recipe calls for a loaf of Pullman bread.  I didn’t know what this was, but through the magic of Google I found it is a white sandwich loaf.  We couldn’t find that at our grocery store so we went with a rustic country levain loaf.  Second, we replaced the green tomato with tomatillos. We had some debate about this, whether green tomatoes and tomatillos are actually the same thing, whether we should scrap tomatoes altogether and switch to Granny Smith apples since they’re in season. We actually bought some apples just in case, but we ended up loving the tomatillos.  We considered losing the watercress, but I’m glad we kept it in.

The sandwich came out great.  The goat cheese and the Brie worked well together – the goat cheese “good cop” was balanced perfectly by the more in your face smelly Brie “bad cop”.  The bacon added flavor and personality.  The acid in the tomatillo framed the richness of the cheese, and the peppery watercress added freshness, texture and tang.  The bread worked fine – it wasn’t the star but it didn’t distract from the contents of the sandwich.  Great sandwich.  Really tasty.  Kathy liked it too.

Brie & Goat Cheese Panini with Bacon and Green Tomato


Brie & Goat Cheese Panini with Bacon and Green Tomato

Adapted from the Grilled Brie and Goat Cheese with Bacon and Green Tomato recipe on FoodNetwork.com.

Makes 4 panini


1 lb. sliced bacon
½ lb. good quality Brie
1/3 lb. soft Boucheron goat cheese
2 or 3 tomatillos
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 slices country bread
Salt and pepper


Cook your bacon. You can do this however you like. While it seems most traditional to do this in a skillet, Kathy and I like to use the broiler tray in our toaster oven, which we line with aluminum foil and bake at 375°F for 15-18 minutes, flipping once.

Heat your cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. You can also use a panini press if you like.

On top of your bottom slice of bread, add 3-4 slices of Brie, sliced tomatillo, watercress, 2-3 slices of goat cheese, and 2-3 slices of bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Liberally apply butter to your top piece of bread, butter side facing up.

Carefully put your sandwich onto the skillet with the butter side facing down. When you are golden brown, butter the top bread and flip the sandwich so the newly buttered bread faces down onto the cooking surface.

Grill for about 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown and the Brie gets soft and gooey.  On TV, Bobby said that you can always finish it in the oven if you want to cook it through, but our Brie melted fine in the skillet so we didn’t bother.




KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
~ Kathy Strahs
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  1. Fun post and a terrific looking panini! YUM!

    Posted 10.17.10 Reply
  2. dixiedevil wrote:

    Mike you done good! Even your description. Sounds like a great sandwich. One which I will need to try, especially since my hubby and I are both lovers of goat cheese and bacon, can’t go wrong there. I find myself wondering how it would be with red tomatoes and maybe a smear of balsamic pesto.

    Posted 10.18.10 Reply
  3. Margaret wrote:

    This sounds great. I am going to try it on my Breville panini press, then I won’t need to flip the sandwich over. I will use less butter on the outside of the bread. I find one doesn’t need so much on the non-stick grill. Just a little for flavor.
    I enjoyed the well-written and entertaining post. Looking forward to more! Thank you!

    Posted 10.18.10 Reply
  4. Amy wrote:

    Greetings Mike! Great guest post! My better half, Paul, doesn’t cook either and has actually requested doing a post, but I have resisted. I don’t want to scare my readers 😉 But you’ve paved the way now. I might need to reconsider.

    We are also huge Bobby Flay fans, and have eaten at Mesa Grill in Las Vegas. Seriously one of the best meals we have ever had. I described it as “having a little circus in your mouth.”

    Your sandwich looks/sounds fantastic. Bravo.

    Posted 10.18.10 Reply
  5. Doreen wrote:

    Hi Mike! I LOVE Bobby Flay … and I’m so jealous that you guys met him … this sandwich sounds sooooo good. I’m going to have to get some brie and goat cheese and try it… I’ve got bacon and green tomatoes already… yumm…

    Posted 10.18.10 Reply
  6. Angela wrote:

    Great job, Mike!! You stepped right into Kathy’s shoes! Impressive 🙂

    This sandwich sounds like an awesome BLT on steroids! Looking forward to trying it soon!

    Your Little-Sis-in-law

    Posted 10.18.10 Reply
  7. Chelsea wrote:

    Yum! Thanks for the great post Mike!

    Posted 10.18.10 Reply
  8. Tamara wrote:

    Great post Mike….and the sandwhich looks delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted 10.18.10 Reply
  9. Julie wrote:

    Delicious! Great post, Mike!

    Posted 10.18.10 Reply
  10. Ok, this makes me hungry. The ooey gooey cheese is literally making my mouth water! Great photos 🙂

    Posted 10.18.10 Reply
  11. Joanna wrote:

    This looks so yummy! Thanks for the recipe!!!

    Posted 10.18.10 Reply
  12. Bubba Licious wrote:

    Sounds awesome Mike…you should guest post more often.

    Posted 10.18.10 Reply
  13. Mike, great sandwich and a great post. You’re a natural for this blogging thing!

    Posted 10.18.10 Reply
  14. Glenn wrote:

    Hi Mike-
    That sandwich looks great! I have some kosher bacon at home that I am going to use tonight. Keep up the good work, GR

    Posted 10.18.10 Reply
  15. Jster wrote:

    that sounds amazing. in fact…I’m eating one right now.

    Posted 10.18.10 Reply
  16. You are so lucky to have a husband who will blog for you. I wish mine would!! HAH
    But I guess I should be happy enough that he’s my “IT staff” for my blog. 😉

    Posted 10.20.10 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      I definitely wouldn’t mind having a resident IT guy, lol.

      Posted 10.20.10 Reply
  17. great looking panini

    Posted 10.23.10 Reply
  18. I saw that episode of throwdown~ looks great… my fall panini has got to be sour dough- apple butter , thin apple slices, english white cheddar and apple wood smoked bacon… you gotta try it!

    I see you met Marla (family fresh cooking) small world

    Posted 10.26.10 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      That sandwich is fantastic – I actually made that one as a guest post a few years ago (I didn’t try it with apple butter, that sounds terrific – I did use cinnamon-raisin English muffins). Yes, Marla is one of my local blogging friends. 🙂

      Posted 10.26.10 Reply
  19. oh forgot to tell you, yes the method of scooping 1/4 cup, rolling into a ball then splitting and putting back together, that plus the recipe helps the cookies to bake super thick but they come out crispy on the outside and gooey in the middle…

    Posted 10.26.10 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Ok, now I DEFINITELY need that cookie recipe! 🙂

      Posted 10.26.10 Reply
  20. That sandwich looks amazing. How sweet that you let him guest-blog. I’m not sure how we didn’t meet at Blogher, but your face is very familiar to me now, Kathy.

    Posted 10.27.10 Reply
  21. Mike's Mom wrote:

    My Mike cooked! Great job- sounds delicious and looks terrific.

    Posted 10.27.10 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      He did! Hoping it’s the beginning of a new pastime for him. 🙂

      Posted 10.27.10 Reply
  22. Daisy wrote:

    Who knew men can cook? All kidding aside; great recipe. This would also be great with wilted spinach instead of watercress. The goat’s cheese/bacon combo is a classic and one of my favorites! Thanks a lot!

    Posted 10.31.10 Reply