Total time: About 25 minutes
Servings: Makes 2 sandwiches
Note: Raisin brioche is available from La Brea Bakery; you can substitute any good-quality raisin bread. Bleu des Basques cheese is available from Nicole's Gourmet Foods in South Pasadena, the Cheese Store of Silverlake and the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills.
4 slices raisin brioche
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
4 ounces firm but mild blue cheese, such as bleu des Basques, crumbled
1 pear, slightly under-ripe, cored and thinly sliced
Chestnut honey for drizzling, optional
1. Heat a cast-iron pan or griddle over low heat. Brush one side of each bread slice with melted butter.
2. Spread half of the cheese evenly over the unbuttered side of two slices of the bread. Place a single layer of the pear slices over the cheese, then top with the remaining cheese. Place the remaining bread on top of each sandwich, buttered-side up.
3. With a spatula, place one of the sandwiches into the heated pan and weight it with a second heavy pan or a steak weight. (If your pan is large enough, cook both sandwiches; otherwise, cook them one at a time.) Cook until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the sandwich, weight it with the pan or steak weight, and cook until golden brown, another 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Remove the sandwich to a cutting board and cut it in half or quarters. Serve immediately with a drizzle of chestnut honey, if desired, on the plate.
Each sandwich: 524 calories; 18 grams protein; 48 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fiber; 31 grams fat; 18 grams saturated fat; 73 mg. cholesterol; 1,122 mg. sodium.