|Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon Apple Jam|
At its core, a grilled cheese is cheese sandwiched between two pieces of buttered bread and toasted until crispy on the outside and smooth and melty on the inside. As mentioned, the options are endless but in my opinion, one shouldn't stray too far from that basic bread and cheese combo. That being said, it's a hard balance; if you throw too much into it, it becomes a panini and you lose sight of the main ingredients that make it what it is. When I took to my kitchen, I kept this in mind and wanted to only select ingredients that would elevate the cheese, without downplaying it or worse, masking it.
|Bacon Apple Jam|
Special thanks to Cabot Cheese for sponsoring this post and inspiring me to create a sandwich to celebrate this exciting month! PS, did you know that next month is National Burger Month?...watch out kids, it's going to be big!
Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon Apple Jam
- 2 pieces bread (I prefer Sourdough or pumpernickel but any rustic bread will do)
- Dijon mustard - enough to thinly coat one side of each piece of bread
- Lots and lots of Cabot Extra Sharp cheese (do I really have to provide a measurement here? I trust you'll do the right thing..)
- 1 strip of crispy bacon, crumbled and reserved from Bacon Apple Jam recipe
- 2 TBS Bacon Apple Jam (recipe follows)
Coat the outside of each piece of bread with Dijon mustard. On the inside, spoon the Bacon Apple jam on the inside sides of the bread. Add cheese and bits of bacon. Fry up sandwich on a hot, cast iron skillet (a hot frying pan also works) until the bread is crisp and the cheese is melted through. Serve immediately.
Bacon Apple Jam:
- 3 pieces of bacon, fat reserved
- 2 medium sized onions, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 TBS Dijon mustard
- 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
- 1 bottle hard apple cider, divided
- 1/4 cup dried apple slices, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
Fry bacon in a skillet until crispy, remove pieces from the bacon fat (be sure to reserve this) and set aside on paper towels to drain. Once cool, crumble bacon. Using the reserved bacon fat, slowly caramelize the onions until reduced in size and golden brown. While the onions are caramelizing, soak the dried and chopped apple slices in half the bottle of hard cider until they plump up. Combine the apple slices and cider mixture along with the remaining bottle of cider with the caramelized onions. Add the mustard, vinegar and brown sugar to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium high and stirring every so often to make sure it doesn't burn on the bottom, reduce the mixture until very thick and jammy.