The power of great ingredients is never more apparent than when they’re used to elevate a taken-for-granted staple. Here’s a grilled cheese sandwich that may change the way you think about the category. It brings a balance of sweet, tart apple and smoky, crunchy bacon to the deceptively humble confines of a cheese sandwich. High-quality bread takes the sandwich to a new level.–Terrance Brennan
LC Grilled Cheese Sandwiches For Guests Note
Entertaining just got a heck of a lot easier. Yes, we’re granting you permission to serve grilled cheese to guests. Don’t let the relatively dainty appearance of these diminutive grilled Cheddar and bacon sandwiches fool you. They’re nothing if not satiating. Even when they take the form of wee finger food. Or a late-night nosh for one.
Cheddar and Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Serves 2 to 4
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Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
Arrange the bacon in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, turning once after 10 minutes, until crisp, about 20 minutes, depending on the thickness. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.
Divide half the cheese between 2 slices bread and then divide the apple slices between them. Place 4 slices cooked bacon on each sandwich, top with the remaining cheese, and sandwich with the remaining bread slices. Spread the outside of each sandwich with 1/2 tablespoon butter per slice of bread. (You can cover and refrigerate the sandwiches for an hour or so before heating them.)
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sandwiches and cook until golden brown and the cheese has melted, 3 to 4 minutes per side, pressing down with a spatula to flatten the sandwiches. (If the bread looks golden and done but the cheese hasn’t completely melted, arrange the sandwiches in a single layer on a baking sheet and finish them in the still-warm oven.)
Transfer the grilled cheese sandwiches to a cutting board and cut them in half or, if desired, into bite-size pieces (about 8 per sandwich). Arrange the grilled cheese on a plate or platter and serve.
Cheddar and Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe © 2005 Terrance Brennan. Photo © 2005 Christopher Hirsheimer. All rights reserved. All materials used with permission.