Bonfire night is kind of a big deal in the UK, across the country we stand in muddy fields to give ourselves neck injuries staring in awe at firework displays, build bonfires and spell our names with sparklers. The most famous (as far as I’m concerned) bonfire night celebrations take place in Lewes every year, so if you’re in the Sussex neck of the woods on the 5th November then you should definitely check that out.
There are tons of bonfire night recipes out there, some are partial to toad in the hole, others go for a warming root vegetable soup; but I think the entire nation being enveloped in a cloud of gunpowder calls for a special kind of sandwich. This panini encompasses all the best things that are smoked and/or smoky: cheese, bacon and BBQ sauce. It’s the perfect comforting carb meal to wolf down while you’re ooh-ing and ahh-ing at next door’s catherine wheels.
100g smoked cheddar, sliced finely or grated
6 rashers smoked streaky bacon, cut into tiny strips
1 tsp dark muscavado sugar
2 gherkins, sliced
2 tbsps smoky BBQ sauce
2 tsps wholegrain mustard
25g garlic butter, melted
- Get your bacon in a non-stick frying pan and fry on a medium heat for 9 minutes until it’s so crispy that there should be a law against it, then add the sugar and cook for another minute.
- Once your bacon has been cooking for 5 minutes or so, slice the paninis in half and get them under the grill. I have no idea how to instruct you with this because my grill is downright dysfunctional, but the goal here is to have them toasted on both sides.
- When they’re toasted, set the top halves aside. Brush the bottom halves with half the melted garlic butter (use a pastry brush if you have one, god help you if you don’t – perhaps don’t melt the butter and spread it on with a knife instead) then spoon the BBQ sauce over evenly, and pile the smoked cheese on there. Whack them under the grill again and cook until the cheese is bubbling.
- By this time, your bacon will have crisped up nicely. Top the cheesey side of the paninis with bacon, then stack the gherkins on there. Brush the top halves with the rest of the garlic butter, then spread the mustard on top.
- Let the top halves meet the bottom halves.
You can either serve your sandwiches as soon as you’ve put them together or you can smush them together using some kind of clever grill machinery if you happen to have that to hand. Personally, I use a heavy plate to let all the melted goodness press together under the grill for a few minutes but I’d hardly advise that, hot plates are a dangerous game.
Your track recommendation for this recipe is potentially an obvious one, what better song to sing on bonfire night than “fire.. doo doo dooo”
What are your favourite bonfire night recipes? And what’s the best firework display you’ve ever seen? I’d love to hear your stories and see your pictures, leave them in the comments or send me a tweet!
Thanks for reading x