makes 4 sandwiches
8 slices bacon
3 oz (about 1 1/4 cups) grated Gruyère
3 oz (about 1 cup) grated fontina
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
8 1/2-inch-thick slices Italian bread
2 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 to 2 large cloves garlic, halved and peeled for rubbing
Cook the bacon in a heavy-bottomed skillet until browned and crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off the grease from the pan and wipe clean.
Combine the cheeses and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Lay 4 slices of the bread on your work surface, and distribute half of the cheese evenly among the bread. Top the cheese with 2 slices of bacon and then 2 or 3 slices of tomatoes (enough to cover the cheese and bacon). Evenly distribute the remaining cheese among the 4 sandwiches. Lightly butter one side of the remaining four slices of bread, and put them on top of the sandwiches, butter side up.
Heat your heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Place the sandwiches butter side down in the pan and cook on the first side until the bread is golden brown and toasted. Meanwhile, butter the top slice of bread on each sandwich. Flip the sandwiches using a spatula and continue to cook on the other side until the bread is golden brown. You can use the spatula to compress the sandwich as it cooks on the second side. Remove the sandwiches from the pan and immediately rub both sides with the cut side of a garlic clove. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.
bacon recipe courtesy of: Tracey's Culinary Adventures, August 19, 2011