Happy Grilled Cheese Month!
I’m a little late to the party on this one given that it’s almost May…BUT it IS still April, so it counts. I’m not much for procrastinating, unless it’s about something totally not fun (like folding laundry or emptying the dishwasher/drying rack – my most loathed chores ever). But grilled cheese is always fun. My only excuse is that I’ve had so many other wonderful things I wanted to share with you this month…and that’s why I’m just now getting to the grilled cheese goodness.
Who doesn’t love a grilled cheese sandwich? I’ve adored them since I was a kid, and my fondness for them has only grown with age. One of the best things about grilled cheese is that the possibilities are ENDLESS. You can pretty much sandwich anything between two pieces of bread and some cheese and end up with a delicious meal. It’s just so easy.
One of my favorite things to do is to pair a bunch of contrasting flavors and textures in one sandwich. This version fits the bill. It has gooey cheese (a must), crisp, sweet apples, salty bacon, and a caramelized red onion spread. No bite is exactly the same, which I love.
Another great thing about grilled cheese: it totally counts as a meal, if you’re me. I don’t think you need much else except maybe a light salad on the side (ya know, to balance out all those carbs and cheese). Dinner (or lunch…or even breakfast for that matter) is ready in minutes, and you get to sit down with a gooey, melty comfort sandwich.
So yeah, I’m late with the grilled cheese month thing. But in this case, better late than never has never been more true.
Grilled Cheese with Manchego, Bacon, Apples, & Red Onion Mayo
(makes 4 sandwiches)
For the Red Onion Mayo:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ cup of mayonnaise
1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
For the Sandwiches:
4 slices of bacon, crisped
3 oz grated Manchego cheese
3 oz grated Fontina cheese
1 small apple, thinly sliced
Bread of your choice
For the Red Onion Mayo: Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the sliced onion and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the sugar and balsamic vinegar. Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, until softened and caramelized.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow the onions to cool completely. Once cool, transfer them to a food processor. Add the mayonnaise and parsley and pulse the mixture until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
For the Sandwiches: Wipe out the skillet used for the onions and add a drizzle of olive oil and a pat of butter. Allow the butter to melt. Spread two slices of bread with the red onion mayo and then top one slice with the bacon, cheeses, and sliced apple. Top with the other slice of bread. Continue with remaining ingredients until all sandwiches are assembled.
Add the sandwiches to the skillet and cook for 2-4 minutes per side, or until the cheese is melted and gooey and the bread is crisp and golden brown. Serve immediately.