Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

16 Jan

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We were hungry for a simple grilled cheese and bowl of tomato soup one cold night recently.  The grilled cheese/tomato soup combination is a classic, but I was looking to step it up a notch.  I came up with a hearty sandwich that is quick to make and was a real family pleaser!  Panera doesn’t have the market cornered on the grown-up grilled cheese!  They’ve been advertising their version all winter, so I decided to come up with one of my own.  When I was trying to decide what to put on my version, I asked the guys if they would want bacon on theirs.  Their answer was; “Yes, anytime you ask if we want bacon on something, the  answer will always be yes!”  The result was tasty and satisfying and I have requests to make it again soon!  Here’s what you’ll need:

individual Ciabatta breads

bacon, baked until crisp

3 kinds of sliced cheese, depending on your preference.  I used sharp cheddar, Swiss cheese, and Provolone cheese.  Muenster would be good as well

tart apple, very thinly sliced

Dijon mustard

Lay out bacon on a large baking sheet lined with foil (just to make clean up easier).  I really prefer this method for cooking bacon for sandwiches.  It gives a nice flat crisp bacon, and doesn’t leave undercooked edges.  It’s also much less messy than frying bacon in a skillet.  Using a good thick bacon gives the best results.

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Bake at 425 degrees, turning once about half way through.  It will take about 15-20 minutes or so to bake up crispy.

When done, remove the bacon from the baking sheet and place on paper towels to drain.

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Peel a tart apple (I used Granny Smith) and slice into very thin slices.  One apple will be enough for 6-8 sandwiches.

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Spread butter on the bottom half of the Ciabatta rolls and place on a grill pan or large skillet.

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Spread a little Dijon mustard on the bottom half of the roll. Begin to layer the fillings, beginning with bacon.

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Next, add the three types of cheese.  Then the thinly sliced apple on top of that.

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IMG_1716_1Place the Ciabatta tops on the sandwiches and spread lightly with butter.

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Toast over medium heat until the bottoms are browned, then flip to other side.  Gently push down on the sandwiches so they heat through all thicknesses of the sandwich.

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Toast until sandwich is warm all the way through and cheese is melted.  It will take a bit longer than usual since these sandwiches are thick.  But it is definitely worth the wait.

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One Response to “Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches”

  1. sani panini January 16, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    This sounds delicious! I made something similar on my blog as well!

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