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The Most Ultimate of Awesome Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

April 17, 2007

The Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich

In honor of National Grilled Cheese Month, we decided we had to concoct the very best, most ultimate grilled cheese sandwich of all time. And we would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for that pesky cast iron skillet! Actually, they were pretty awesome, despite sticking in the worst way to the pan, thus diminishing their prettiness for the camera. And while it might be possible for someone to create a more ultimate grilled cheese sandwich, I think it would be very difficult.

How does one grilled cheese sandwich end up more ultimate than another? We took our cue from a local Boston restaurant, Picco, which, instead of coating the bread with butter before grilling, coats each slice with a healthy dose of Mornay sauce. I have not actually had this famous grilled cheese, only read about it Boston Magazine’s January 2006 food issue, but as soon as I read it, I knew I’d have to try it. But that innovation was not enough. This sandwich would need something else to become ultimate, and that something else was…bacon!

Three kinds of cheese, thick-cut smoked bacon, fresh Peasant bread…how can grilled cheese get any better? Well, again, I submit that using a non-stick skillet would have been smarter, but whatever. Here’s how to make the ultimate, awesomest, National Grilled Cheese Month Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

Three Cheese and Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich

For the sauce:

  • 1 T. butter
  • 1-2 T. flour
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. each of grated gruyere, mahon, and Basque shepherd’s cheese
  • salt and pepper

For the sandwiches:

  • 4 thick slices of bread
  • 3 slices of thick-cut bacon
  • about 1/2 c. each of grated gruyere, mahon, and Basque shepherd’s cheese

First, cook the bacon in a skillet (preferably non-stick) until it’s as crispy as you prefer it. Crispier is probably better in this instance. Remove the bacon from the skillet, and let it cool off on a paper towel. Keep the skillet all bacon-y for cooking your sandwiches.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and once it’s fully melted, add the flour. Whisk it all together to form a paste, then slowly add the milk, whisking continually, and cook for a few minutes, until the sauce starts to simmer and bubble a bit. Gradually whisk in the cheeses, and keep stirring and cooking over low heat until you have a thick, creamy mornay sauce. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.

De-nuded Grilled Cheese

Chop the bacon into smaller, bite-sized pieces, and mix it together with the sandwich cheese. Heat the skillet back up. Coat one side of a piece of bread with the sauce, and lay it into the skillet, sauce side down. Top with about half of the cheese and bacon mixture, and then coat one side of another piece of bread with more sauce, and put it on top. Do the same with the rest of the bread and cheese, and let both sandwiches cook for a few minutes. Use a spatula to press down on them a bit. After a few minutes, when the bottom bread piece is starting to brown, flip them over and cook for another few minutes, until you have lovely browned bread and melted cheese.

As you can see from the picture above, the cast iron skillet stripped the sandwiches of their crusty browned layer and made them a little messier, but they still tasted like awesomeness. I was unsure how much I was ever going to be able to love gruyere before these sandwiches came into my life, but now I know, I can love it a lot. While this might not be the simple and quick grilled cheese lunch you throw together on a busy Sunday afternoon, it’s totally worth it if you have the time. And the inclination to buy $20 worth of cheese. I believe our homage to National Grilled Cheese Month can be considered a winner.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 17, 2007 11:30 am

    You’re killin me.. now I have to stop at a store on the way home for lunch to pick up bacon and cheese. *drool*

  2. April 17, 2007 8:12 pm

    Oh my! THat is a seriously good looking sandwich!

  3. mUm in the Mountains permalink
    January 15, 2010 8:30 pm

    I do hope you give that sticky cast iron pan a good seasoning very soon. When I lived near the ocean, I had definate issues with my cast iron skillets, but moving to the mountains witha humidity of 30 percent took care of that. The goodness of the sandwiches came through instantly and I will put them on the must do soon list.

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