Is there anything more comforting on a cold day than a gooey grilled cheese with a crisp, buttery crust? This is my favorite fall or winter lunch. It’s cheesy and satisfying and guaranteed to warm you up!
Thinking of grilled cheese always takes me back to my childhood. I mean, who didn’t love grilled cheese as a kid?! Of course, my childhood grilled cheese was a little different than this one. My mom made our grilled cheese with American cheese and whole wheat bread (I’m so thankful she wouldn’t feed us Wonderbread!) and cooked it in the toaster oven.
I loved my mom’s grilled cheese growing up, but as I’ve aged, my tastes have matured. This more “adult” version of grilled cheese uses high-quality cheese and homemade bread (Sourdough or a bolillo would be a good substitute if you don’t want to make your own). The aioli adds a gourmet touch, and bacon – as I’ve mentioned before – makes almost everything better. I hope you enjoy my version of this comfort food favorite!
Beecher’s Grilled Cheese
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 5-10 minutes
4 slices Rustic Bread
2 slices Bacon
3/4 – 1 c shredded Beecher’s Flagship Cheese
Butter, slightly softened
1. Cook your bacon in a skillet or griddle until it’s crisp then drain on paper towels. Once the bacon has cooled, roughly chop it.
2. Now, it’s time to assemble your grilled cheese. Start by spreading a little aioli on the insides of the bread. Then place half the chopped bacon on one side of the sandwich.
3. Top the bacon with half the cheese, pressing down to help pack the cheese into the sandwich so it won’t fall off – don’t want to lose any of that delicious stuff!
Note: Beecher’s Flagship is a cheddar-gruyere blend. If you can’t find Beecher’s Flagship at the store, you can substitute a 1:1 cheddar to gruyere blend.
4. Close the sandwich, pressing down again, and butter the top half of the bread. Then repeat steps 2-4 for the other sandwich.
5. Preheat a panini press to medium-high heat. Flip your sandwiches onto the panini press (so the buttered side is down) and then butter the top side of the bread.
6. Close the panini press and cook your sandwich until the bread is golden and crisp. Keep an eye on your sandwiches to make sure they don’t start leaking cheese!
I know it will be hard, but let that bad boy cool down a few minutes before biting into it. It won’t lose any of its wonderful flavor, but if you burn your tongue on molten cheese, you won’t be able to fully enjoy it (or your next few meals). Once it has cooled slightly, you are ready to tear into the warm, cheesy goodness of this sandwich! I like to cut mine on a diagonal and serve with chips, sweet potato fries (I like Alexia’s Sweet Potato Waffle Fries), or our Perfect Oven-Roasted Potato Wedges. Or, for a classic combo, you could pair it with your favorite tomato soup. Enjoy!