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Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Ultimate Grilled Cheese
McHubby and I have had so many dinners of grilled cheese sandwiches with a bowl of soup, so obviously I had to make the Contessa’s Ultimate Grilled Cheese. The fact that this was a recipe from the newest soon-to-be-released Barefoot Contessa cookbook made it even more appealing. This grilled cheese had such a rich, layered flavor. The toasted bread was perfectly buttery and golden browned with a wonderful crunch. Thanks to Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake for selecting this Barefoot Bloggersrecipe and one of my favorite comfort foods!
12 slices thick-cut bacon, such as Nodine’s applewood smoked 1 cup good mayonnaise ¼ cup Dijon mustard ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 white pullman loaf or sourdough bread, sliced ½ 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 ⅓ 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.