Good morning, Monday. I have been looking forward to today. I've set some great goals for myself in many areas of my life and can't wait to tackle the week ahead. Today's also great because I get the chance to share this new recipe for Apple, Bacon and Cheddar Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions with you.
This recipe takes root in an email conversation I had with my friend Lindsey of Cafe Johnsonia. A few days after our Online Labor Day Ice Cream Social we were expressing how fun it was to work together. Before you knew it we had committed to each other to cook and bake with each other again!
Instead of ice cream, we chose one ingredient to focus on...apples. If there is one fruit that signifies fall in my Utah, it's apples. Lindsey and I share an affinity for Allred Orchards, a local apple stand in our part of Utah. These apples are amazing, I love to buy a variety each season and use several different apples in my apple pies and baked goods.
But today isn't about dessert, I'm channeling the savory side of the apple. And it sure shines in this grilled cheese sandwich with some of my very favorite ingredients like a local rosemary cheddar cheese, high-quality applewood smoked bacon and caramelized onions.
This grilled cheese had to be special and made in a way that would capture the saltiness of the bacon, the aromatic rosemary and sharpness of that cheese and that sweet addictiveness of caramelized onions...and let's not forget the natural sweetness of our inspired ingredient: the apple!
To do so, I thought back to one of my most favorite grilled cheeses. It's found at Murray's Cheese in New York City. I can't make a trip without stopping by this shop. What makes this grilled cheese so special (besides the most amazing blend of high-quality cheeses they use) is how the cheese is prepared pre-grill. It's basically a spread of grated or finely shaved cheese (maybe in the food processor), ensuring that every bit of the cheese gets melty to perfection.
Lindsey's Brandied Apple Pie!
Apple, Bacon and Cheddar Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions
by Becky of Project Domestication
1 tsp. good olive oil (plust more for grilling sandwich)
1 lg. red onion, cut in half and sliced thin
Real Salt (to taste)
freshly cracked pepper (to taste)
1 tsp. local honey
6-8 strips applewood smoked bacon
1 c. Beehive Cheese Co. Rosemary Cheddar, grated (packed well)
1 apple (honeycrisp or jonagold)
4 slices of good sourdough bread (french country loaf also nice)
mixed greens or arugula (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Over medium heat in a medium to large saute pan, heat one teaspoon olive oil until shimmering. Add onions and a few pinches of Real Salt and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile place bacon on rimmed baking sheet and bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, until bacon is crisp. Place bacon on paper towel lined plate and dab dry.
After red onions have cooked 10 minutes add honey and a few pinches of freshly cracked black pepper. Continue to cook until transparent, golden and caramelized.
Heat griddle to 350 degrees. While onions and bacon are finishing, shred cheese and apples. Chop bacon. Add finished onions, bacon, grated cheese and apples in medium bowl and stir until evenly combined.
Once griddle is preheated, dress one side of each slice of bread with olive oil (you may use butter instead). Place oiled sourdough on griddle and place a heaping 1 cup of mixture on bread and greens, if using. Top with second slice of bread and oil its top. Cook each side for approximately 4 minutes or until crispy and golden on outside. Repeat to make other sandwich. Slice in half and serve!
Makes two grilled cheese sandwiches.
Other grilled cheese recipes you may like:
Grilled Cheese with Arugula, Dried Cherries and Hazelnut Butter on Vintage Mixer
Turkey & White Cheddar Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onion & Grape on Foodie Crush
Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich on Two Peas and Their Pod
Grilled Cheese with Spicy Havarti, Cilantro Pesto & Roast Tomatoes on Mountain Mamma Cooks
Roasted Tomato Basil Soup with Mini Grilled Cheese Croutons on Sweet Basil