There’s nothing I like more than a grilled cheese. I like every kind, from the traditional diner cheddar on white bread to the fanciest, wild mushroom truffled grilled cheese. When I saw a recipe for bacon jam, I immediately thought that would make a great grilled cheese– everything’s better with bacon and this jam has a nice sweetness from the caramelized onions. You can use it as a condiment for many things, I’m already thinking about eggs and of course, egg sandwiches. I planned to make this with sliced peaches when they are in season, but for now I’m using apples.
Grilled Cheese with Peaches (Apples) and Bacon Jam
2 1/2-3/4 inch slices (extra thick) of good pullman loaf or brioche
2 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter
2 half inch thick pieces of Taleggio or other semi-soft cheese
4 quarter-inch thick slices fresh peach (or apple out of peach season)
Handful of spinach or arugula leaves
2 tablespoons bacon jam (below)
Butter both sides of each slice of bread and lightly toast on a grill or griddle for 2-3 minutes until it just starts to develop color. Spread the bacon jam on one slice and layer the peach or apple slices and the cheese slices on top. Top with the other slice.
Grill for 5 minutes on each side (depending on grill heat) until the cheese starts to melt and the peaches are warmed through. Add the spinach or arugula after you remove from the heat.
1/2 pound thick cut appplewood smoked bacon, chopped into 1/4 inch slices
1 onion, minced
3 garlic gloves, minced
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons bourbon
3 tablespoons coffee, freshly brewed
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 cup water, as needed
salt and pepper to taste
Render the bacon until most of the fat has been rendered and can be drained off. Remove to a paper towel, leaving a tablespoon of bacon fat. Saute the onions in the bacon fat until they have caramelized, about 12-15 minutes. Add the garlic and stir through. (Garlic is added later so that it doesn’t burn) Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer on low heat for about an hour, adding water as necessary.