I’ve been inspired in the kitchen by CanBech sweet sauce. These little jars arrived all the way from Fontanilles, Spain, to my door in Los Angeles. Intrigued by these sweet sauces (or what I’d call jelly) I began opening each package. The instructions on the box said to pair with cheese, however, a flood of ideas came to me. What about as a topping for cheesecake? Salad dressing? Marinade? Grilled cheese sandwiches? CanBech, where have you been all my life?
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. Yes, I thought, rummaging through my refrigerator. Truffle cheddar… paired with… black fig sauce, and… mixed baby greens on whole grain bread.
I placed the bread on a sheet pan and brushed it with a light amount of olive oil for toasting, while grating some English cheddar with Italian truffles into a bowl. Then I chopped up some fresh mixed greens (baby kale, arugula, spinach). Once the bread toasted under the broiler, I layered one side of the toast with cheese and the other with CanBech black fig sauce. Then I added a pinch of greens and assembled the sandwich, pressing down with the palm of my hand. I heated it in a pan on the stove until the cheese melted into the greens. Generous amounts of the black fig jelly seeped through the bread and cheese, mingling its aroma with the warming olive oil. I set the grilled cheese sandwich down upon a wooden board and cut it in half. The melt of cheddar, fragrant with truffle and fig, was enough temptation to sink my teeth into. I shared the sandwich with my honey. He rolled his eyes in pleasure and sighed aloud after one bite. After we devoured the sandwich, I made just one more. This is good reason to try other combinations of CanBech sweet sauces.
CanBech sweet sauces are the perfect pairing for cheese. Each jar comes with pairing suggestions depending on the type of cheese— soft cheeses, hard cheeses, soft paste and blue cheeses. There are some amazing vegan cheeses available these days, and I happened to have a container of Kite Hill vegan cream cheese (almond milk based) to serve with the remaining loaf of whole grain bread. I used Thompson grapes on one toast pairing. The delicate floral pops of ripe grapes complimented the cream cheese with the black grape CanBech jelly. Other toasts with avocado, shreds of dark leafy kale and red cabbage, sliced cucumber and edamame, and strawberries paired with black fig jelly. Making these toasts would work nicely as an appetizer for a small gathering.
For gluten-free and non-dairy options: You could easily use gluten-free crackers of any sort, and crispy slices of toasted jicama can also work well for a non-grain based cracker. Add vegan plant-based cheese and your choice of CanBech sweet sauce— just as satisfying without missing out on a cheese pairing experience. Try CanBech sweet sauces in other recipes as well.
The sweet sauces have a complex layer of flavors rather than a single note jam. Black grapes with Majorcan almonds, black figs with Australian macadamias and Jamaican pepper, peach and apricot with goji berries and Guatemalan cardamom, raspberry with rose petals and Szechuan pepper, and golden delicious apple with pistachios and cinnamon. CanBech suggests other uses for these gourmet sweet sauces on their website.
I’ve been hosting a CanBech giveaway on my Instagram feed to win prizes. The details are given on my Instagram post, so please join in. I’m extending the giveaway until August 15th 2015 and will choose three finalists to win. The grand prize includes a $100 gift card as well as CanBech gourmet sweet sauces. Savory or sweet, the flavor profiles of each sauce pairing can be used in a variety of ways.