Dinner Tonight: February 2, 2018
Archive »Mom's Grilled Cheese with Bacon
Play Would You Rather...? (Would you rather...be able to fly, or be invisible? Sweat melted cheese or always smell skunk?)
When you graduate from school or retire from your job one day, what do you hope people will say about you?
Image Credit: James Ransom/Food52/Ten Speed Press
This recipe is from Amanda Hesser of Food52 and is featured in her cookbook A New Way to Dinner, written with her co-founder Merrill Stubbs.
My mother, an excellent cook, likes to dispense her cooking wisdom in a slow, carefully timed trickle of detail. For years, I made her oven-fried chicken and wondered why mine was never as crisp. Because she hadn’t yet told me about the critical step of soaking the chicken in salted ice water for a few hours before cooking it.
With grilled cheese, I felt I’d learned a pretty good version on my own —buttering the outside of the bread and grating cheese for the inside, so the exterior gets supercrisp and toasty and the center is a glorious goo. Merrill and I even did a video on this grilled cheese. My mom watched the video and said, “Looked good, but you forgot the bacon.” She always laid a piece of bacon across the outside of the sandwich so it would be embedded in the grilled cheese like a fossil and the bacon fat would scent the bread. Mom, 1. Me, 0.
About 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 large slices country bread
4 slices bacon, halved crosswise
4 cups (460g) grated Gruyère
1 cup (100g) grated Parmesan
Lightly butter one side of each slice of bread. Lay a half slice of bacon across the middle (lengthwise) of each buttered side.
Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. (If you can squeeze all the sandwiches into one pan, bravo; otherwise cook them in batches or in two pans side by side.) Lay 2 slices of bread, butter-and- bacon side down, in the pan.
Sprinkle one-half of each of the cheeses on top, then top with 2 slices of bread, butter-and-bacon side up. Press down on the sandwiches with a spatula. Cook until the bacon renders and the sandwich warms through, 5 minutes or so. When the bacon and bread are nicely browned, turn and toast the other side for about 5 minutes more. Transfer the sandwiches to plates (you can keep them warm in a 200°F/95°C oven as well) and cook the second batch