Grilled Cheese: One sandwich, a zillion ways to make it.
But this is the version I always come back to time and time again. Meaty salty bacon, Cracker Barrel sharp cheddar, and spicy jalapeno chiles make for the happiest trio of grilled cheese ingredients. In honor of National grilled Cheese Day (which was 4/12) I’m sharing the recipe here with you.
No matter what combination of ingredients you stuff into your grilled cheese, I have a few rules that I always follow when making them:
1. Use a good quality cheese. As obvious as it sounds to say this, a grilled cheese sandwich is all about the CHEESE, and those plastic wrapped processed cheese slices just don’t have the rich, full flavor that Cracker Barrel’s Sharp Yellow Cheddar has. Cracker Barrel won first place in the Medium Cheddar category at the US Championship Cheese Contest® with this cheese, so it’s pretty much the most premium quality yet accessible cheese you can use to make a kickass sandwich.
Look how ooey gooey stretchy melty it is!
2. Fry the bread with butter. I have heard of people trying to use olive oil for their grilled cheese, but olive oil doesn’t have the milk solids that butter has. It’s the milk solids that brown so nicely and give the sandwich a nutty buttery aroma. Save the olive oil for your salads.
3. Make the grilled cheese in a cast iron pan. The cast iron pan gives the bread very even and consistent browning. The best you can get!
What’s your favorite way to make a grilled cheese sandwich?
- 2 slices white bread
- 1/2 a block of Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheddar, cut into slices
- 1 jalapeno chile
- 3 slices center cut bacon
- Slice the jalapeno chile thinly and remove the seeds if desired. Heat up a small nonstick skillet over medium heat and add a 1/2 tbsp of butter. Saute the jalapenos for about 10 minutes until tender and slightly browned. Remove the jalapenos and cook the bacon until crispy, then drain on a paper towel and crumble the bacon with your hands.
- Heat up a cast iron skillet over medium heat and add enough butter to coat the bottom of the pan. Lay your bread slices down and top them with an even layer of sliced cheese squares. Cook until they get golden brown, which should only take a few minutes. Sprinkle the cooked jalapeno and bacon crumbles evenly over the melted cheese, then press the two pieces of toast together to make a cohesive sandwich. Enjoy!
Disclosure: I’m proud to be a brand ambassador for Cracker Barrel cheese over the next few months. I admire the authenticity of their brand and their cheese (they have been using the same proprietary heirloom starter cultures and the same recipe since they started in 1954)! I have been compensated for my time, but all my opinions are my own.