I love a good grilled cheese sandwich. A few years back I developed a way to make large batches of grilled cheese for parties, with no mess. The way to do this is in the oven at a high temperature.
I created a grilled cheese sandwich that paired perfectly with Washington’s Kestrel Vintners “Old Vine Chardonnay” for my wine tasting party. I love the history of this wine — the grapes come from the oldest Chardonnay vines in Washington state, planted back in 1972. 100 percent of this wine comes from these grapes and there is no filler, so even though Washington seems like a new wine world, we do have some history.
- Good artisan sliced bread, like Grand Central Bakery’s Como
- Beecher’s Cheese – 1 wedge of Flagship, 1 wedge of Jack
- 1 stick softened butter
- 1 package of bacon
- 1 jar sweet pepper jam*
- Start by cooking the bacon. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay out the bacon on a foil lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently lean up the baking sheet so that the grease runs to one side. Once cooled remove the bacon and pat dry with paper towels, and chop. Discard the foil and you have a clean baking sheet ready for the sandwiches.
- While the bacon is cooking, shred the cheese, easiest is with a shredding attachment in the food processor but you can grate it by hand as well. Mix the two cheeses together.
- Lay out the bread on the baking sheet in stacks of two, you can fit 8 sandwiches per baking sheet. Generously butter one side of each slice. Lay the buttered side down and then pile on a handful of cheese sprinkle with some of the chopped bacon. Now slather the other slice of bread with some of the pepper jelly, close up the sandwich with the buttered side up, and press firmly down to bind it all together. Continue with remaining sandwiches.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Place the baking sheet in the middle of the oven and bake for 10 minutes, flip the sandwiches gently and bake another 10 minutes. You will have golden perfect grilled cheese sandwiches every time!
- I use my own recipe of sweet pepper jam, and that recipe will be coming soon. There are many choices on the market shelf, too.