Monday, August 30, 2010

BB: Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich

 I haven't been able to bake along with the Barefoot Bloggers as much as I have wanted to the past few months so it was nice to be able to catch up with them this month and bake along with all of the recipes. Even better, we got a bonus recipe this month from Ina Garten's new cookbook How Easy Is That? which is set to be released on October 26, 2010.  Ina’s cookbook publicist sent an advanced copy of the book to our blog leader, Tara, and has encouraged us to start trying some of the recipes. 

This is a seriously good grilled cheese sandwich recipe. Very decadent. And definitely not for those who are on a diet. I am currently on Weight Watchers and even after making some adjustments to the recipe (deleting the butter, using reduced fat cheddar cheese and mayonnaise, spraying the foreman grill with pam) one sandwich alone ended up being 16 points which is more or less 3/4 of my daily food calories.

That said, it is so worth it.  It was a little saltier than I had expected, most likely due to the bacon. And although I'm not sure how it would have tasted without the modifications, it still tasted very good to me.  I did not have a pannini press (despite my best efforts to rationalize buying one, I didn't get around to it) but my foreman grill worked perfectly.

Ultimate Grilled Cheese
as chosen by Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake
serves 6

12 slices thick-cut bacon, such as Nodine’s applewood smoked
1 cup good mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 white pullman loaf or sourdough bread, sliced 1/2 inch thick (12 slices)
6 tbsp salted butter, at room temperature
6 oz aged Gruyere or Comte cheese
6 oz extra-sharp Cheddar, such as Cabot or Shelburne Farms

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Arrange the bacon on a baking rack set over a sheet pan in a single layer and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until nicely browned.  Drain on a plate lined with paper towels and cut in 1-inch pieces.

Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, Parmesan, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Lay 12 slices of bread on a board and spread each one lightly with butter.  Flip the slices and spread each one generously with the mayonnaise mixture.  Don’t neglect the corners!

Grate the cheeses in a food processor fitted with the largest grating disk and combine.  Distribute the bacon evenly on half the slices of bread.  Pile 1/3 cup grated cheese evenly on top of the bacon and top with the remaining bread slices, sauce side down.

Heat an electric panini press.  When the press is hot, cook the sandwiches for 3 to 5 minutes in batches until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.  Allow to cool for 2 minutes.  Cut in half and serve warm.


  1. I've seen this recipe mentioned quite a bit lately which tells me it must be really fantastic! Can't wait to try it :)

  2. My vote is the george foreman is a good approximation of a panini press. Not sure what my vote counts for but that's my vote. Of course this comes from me, who used my george foreman in the place of a waffle iron when i had made the waffle batter and my waffle iron had seriously bad chips in the coating.

  3. Me!...I think you're a person after my own did the waffles turn out with the foreman?

  4. I really admire you for doing the WW thing...I did it years ago and lost a ton of weight, but had to go off of it for health reasons (ironically). I can totally appreciate how hard it is to love food so much and have to cut and slash & modify everything you want to make. Go you!