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Ultimate Grilled Cheese

November 1, 2012

by Elizabeth

Last week I had a glorious morning off. I slept until 8:30, went to the gym, did laundry, ran a couple of errands. Sounds incredible boring, I know, but when you’re too busy at work to ever get to the dumb dry cleaners when they are actually open and have made it to the gym approximately twice in the last 3 weeks, days like that are incredible. The best part was getting to actually make a fresh lunch. I had been dreaming about Ina’s ultimate grilled cheese for weeks, and it was perfect for a special treat sandwich.

Also – I know you’re thinking – seriously, who needs a recipe for grilled cheese? Even the most cooking-challenged among us can make a grilled cheese for pete’s sake. But the dijon sauce, bacon, and mix of cheeses really do make these the “ultimate.” My friend Blair even served them for our dinner club once, and they were a huge hit. They can also be made in advance and kept warm in the oven, great for entertaining.

Ultimate Grilled Cheese, adapted from Ina Garten

Serves 2, original recipe serves 6

4 slices thick cut bacon, I used pepper bacon
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
kosher salt and black pepper
4 slices Italian or sourdough bread (something sturdy)
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 ounces gruyere, comte, or havarti cheese, grated

Cook bacon until crisp. Ina recommends baking at 400˙ for 20-30 minutes. I cooked mine in the microwave, which is much faster. Cut bacon into 1/2 – 1 inch pieces and set aside.

Meanwhile mix mayo, dijon, and Parmesan in a small bowl. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.

On one side of each piece of bread, spread with softened butter. Place butter side down on a piece of parchment paper. Spread the other sides with mayonnaise mixture. Distribute bacon, cheddar, and gruyere cheese on two pieces of bread, top with the remaining slices.

Heat your panini press or grill pan until very hot but not yet smoking. Cook sandwiches for about 2-3 minutes per side, until cheese is melted and bread golden and crispy. Cut in half, serve with tomato soup or green salad.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 7, 2012 12:38 pm

    This sounds delicious! Particularly as I am sitting at my desk eating left overs 😉

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