Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Sweet and Spicy Honey-Baked Sandwiches

By Stacie Morgan, June 2, 2016, Recipes

Welcome to Cooking with Less Kilowatts! There is nothing better than sitting down in the evening to enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal. But did you know that changing what you do in the kitchen can make an impact on your monthly electricity bill? Each week, I will help you find ways to cook using less energy while still getting a satisfying, flavorful meal. Trust me – I won’t just tell you to do everything in the microwave. I’ll help you cut down on your energy consumption.

This week’s low energy use recipe is a flavor-packed honey-baked sandwich that’s perfect for a party appetizer.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Sweet and Spicy Honey-Baked Sandwiches

There are several excellent baked sandwich recipes out there, but most of them give me grief. With some, the long cooking times dries out the bun, while others have the bottom half soak through with grease or butter. Not only does my recipe cook quickly (under ten minutes!), it feeds 12 people as an appetizer or six people as part of a complete meal with chips and/or a side salad.

Featuring minimal prep work, the dish is stuffed with creamy brie cheese, a quick-melting cheese that reduces the cooking time. The other key ingredients – honey ham and turkey from the deli counter slicers and the microwave bacon strips – are already cooked, which further lowers the time in the oven. Be sure to microwave the bacon as directed on the packaging before adding it to the sandwich in the preparation steps.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Sweet and Spicy Honey-Baked Sandwiches

The sweet and spicy mustard I created for the top bun is so very delicious. Just grab a jar of red pepper jelly and Dijon mustard, along with some sea salt and black peppercorns. Feel free to opt for an even spicier jelly (if that’s to your taste), but I prefer the balance of sweet and heat in your typical red pepper jelly.

The fresh granny smith apples give a great flavor contrast to the richer ingredients like the bacon. The quick cooking time keeps the apple crisp and gives a great texture contrast to the sandwich as well!

Overall, the sweet flavors of this sandwich pairs well with the spicy flavors, and when you factor in the low cooking time, this is my favorite sandwich recipe to date!

Sweet and Spicy Honey Baked Sandwiches

Ingredients:

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Sweet and Spicy Honey-Baked Sandwiches

  • 12 Honey wheat dinner rolls
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp. Red pepper jelly
  • 1/8 tsp. Sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Coarse ground black peppercorns
  • 12 oz. Brie cheese
  • ½ lb. Honey roasted turkey (from deli counter)
  • ½ lb. Honey roasted ham (from deli counter)
  • 1 Granny smith apple, thinly sliced into sheets
  • 12 Quick microwaved bacon pieces
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Melted butter (sweet cream, salted type)
  • ¼ tsp. Red chili flakes

Directions:

1) Measure out and prep ingredients as directed above.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Sweet and Spicy Honey-Baked Sandwiches

2) Slice the dinner rolls in half as shown. Line a square baking dish large enough to fit all rolls with parchment paper. Place bottom half of rolls inside parchment paper.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Sweet and Spicy Honey-Baked Sandwiches

3) Combine the Dijon mustard, red pepper jelly, sea salt, and black peppercorns together. Mix together until smooth. Spread this mixture on the top half of the dinner rolls.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Sweet and Spicy Honey-Baked Sandwiches

4) Remove the rind from the brie cheese and slice it into 12 pieces. Place one slice on each roll. Note: this cheese is sticky, so while it may not look even, it will melt well enough.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Sweet and Spicy Honey-Baked Sandwiches

5) Layer the turkey and ham in even amounts on the cheese. Place the sliced apple on top of the meat.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Sweet and Spicy Honey-Baked Sandwiches

7) Top the apple with the prepped bacon. Place the top halves of the rolls on the bacon.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Sweet and Spicy Honey-Baked Sandwiches

8) Add the chili flakes to the melted butter. Brush this mixture over the top of the rolls.

9) Bake in 400°F oven for nine minutes.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Sweet and Spicy Honey-Baked Sandwiches

10) Use a sharp knife to separate each sandwich once baked and serve.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Sweet and Spicy Honey-Baked Sandwiches

Just be sure you save enough for your guests and don’t eat it all yourself!

Check in next week for another Cooking with Less Kilowatts series entry ready to help you create delicious, homemade recipes while keeping energy use and effort to a minimum!

Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan

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