Monday, September 26, 2011

Messy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Bacon

I know it seems silly to post a simple grilled cheese recipe but this is easily one of the tastiest grilled cheese sandwiches I have had the pleasure of eating. There are few ingredients so be sure to seek out an excellent quality bread and aged cheddar cheese. Pair this sandwich with a bowl of Roasted Tomato Soup for the ultimate soup and sandwich lunch or dinner.

Messy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Bacon
recipe slightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma

8 ounces center cut bacon
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
12 slices sourdough bread, sliced ¾ inch thick
1 pound aged cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lay the bacon in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the bacon is crispy. Remove from the oven and drain on a layer of paper towels. Wait until the bacon cools then crumble with your hands.

Preheat an electric panini press according to the manufacturer's instructions.

In a small bowl, stir together the butter and parsley. In another small bowl, combine the shredded cheese and crumbled bacon. Spread one side of each bread slice with the parsley butter. Lay 6 slices, buttered side down, on a clean work surface and top with the cheese and bacon mixture, dividing evenly. Add the remaining bread slices, buttered side up to form sandwiches.

Working in batches, place the sandwiches on the preheated panini press, cover and cook until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes.