Bacon Jalapeño Grilled Cheese (National Grilled Cheese Day)

by dccheese on April 12, 2013

in Cooking with Cheese,grilled cheese

{This post is sponsored by Cracker Barrel.} There are an awful lot of food “holidays” that we roll our eyes at, but one we take very seriously here at Cheese and Champagne: National Grilled Cheese Day. In fact, April is considered Grilled Cheese Month, so if for some reason you let today get by you without enjoying a grilled cheese, you still have 18 days to get your fix.

bacon jalapeno grilled cheese recipe

I often make grilled cheese with various bits and pieces of cheese left over from past reviews, but with two kids, we go through a fair number of basic cheddar melts as well. Cracker Barrel’s award-winning cheddars melt well and deliver the rich, full flavor you expect in a grilled cheese. I created the recipe below with samples they provided.

cracker barrel grilled cheese

Everyone has their own method for making grilled cheese, but there are only two rules you need to remember:

1. Skip the processed cheese slice. You can get good meltability by grating the cheese you’re going to use. I often use a mix of two cheeses, making sure one is a nice sharp cheddar.

2. Butter. Look, grilled cheese is about comfort. You can eat a kale salad later for penance, but please don’t skimp on the butter and milkfats when making grilled cheese. Bacon is optional, but butter is not.

When Cracker Barrel challenged me to make my best grilled cheese, I wanted to stick to something familiar but kick it up a little. I love, love, LOVE a good pimento grilled cheese, so it seemed a good time to use Cracker Barrel’s jalapeño cheddar to get a similar spicy kick. So the pepper wouldn’t overwhelm, I mixed it with the straight sharp cheddar, but you can adjust the proportion to make it as spicy as you prefer.

bacon jalapeno grilled cheese ingredients

In late summer, I love to include slices of juicy ripe peaches or tomatoes in my grilled cheese. But when they’re not in season, you can get a similar effect with a smear of jam, preserves, or in this case, peach butter.

And of course I added bacon, because it just seemed to go with the jalapeño. Think of this as a jalapeño popper in sandwich form. Ideally I’d serve this with pickled jalapeño slices, but I only had sweet chips on hand. Either way is fine.

Oh, and one more tip: when you’re frying your sandwich, sprinkle a little cheese on the outside of your sandwich when it’s almost done. You’ll get a crispy crust on the outside of your bread. Watch the video to see how I make mine.

bacon jalapeño grilled cheese from Colleen | GlassBottle on Vimeo.

Bacon Jalapeño Grilled Cheese
Makes 1 sandwich; multiply as needed to feed a crowd

Ingredients:

  • 1 pat butter
  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 1 ounce jalapeño cheddar, grated
  • 1 ounce sharp cheddar, grated
  • 1/2 tablespoon peach butter or jam
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked

Instructions:

1. Melt a pat of butter in your cast iron skillet or frying pan. Dip both sides of the bread in the butter, then cook bread for a minute or two until slightly toasted.

2. Flip slices over and carefully spread peach butter or jam on one slice. Sprinkle with half the cheese, place bacon slices over, then sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover with the second slice and cook, turning once, until bread is golden brown.

What’s your favorite grilled cheese?

Disclosure: I am being compensated as part of Cracker Barrel’s Influencer program and received samples of the cheeses mentioned in this post. All opinions are my own. Read our full disclosure policy here.

{ 2 comments }

Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas April 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Wooo! Love the addition of the peach butter here. Yum!!

laurasmess April 19, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Yum!!! I’m from Australia and we don’t really get the same kinds of Cracker Barrel that you get over there (sadly!) but this recipe sounds so delicious! I might just try it with some regular sharp cheddar then add in some sliced jalapenos. Love the idea of the peach jam… sweet, salty from the bacon, creamy and spicy from the cheese. Perfect! Love your blog (amazing for a cheese addict like myself!!!!) xx

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