Sunday, September 17, 2023

Ina Garten's Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich

 I have been wanting to make this Ina Garten Ultimate Grilled Cheese for ages. Problem is sometimes Ina makes you feel like you need everything to be the best of the best and with today's grocery prices that's hard to do!

About a week ago, I ordered a bread box called Wildgrain, filled with artisan breads that were direct shipped to my house. The bread comes already baked, but frozen, and you bake it to reheat it. This is their sourdough loaf and the quality is pretty good, so I decided to make Ina's Ultimate Grilled Cheese.
Then I procured the aged Gruyere, the extra-sharp cheddar, the Parmesan, the 1 cup of mayo (have you noticed the price of mayo lately?) and the applewood smoked bacon. I am now in the neighborhood of $30 to make some grilled cheese and I'm not even counting the artisan bread. Ina, you really know how to write some EXPENSIVE recipes.

This recipe seems a little fussy, but it's really not. We need fresh bread, cooked bacon, grated cheese, and a very tasty mayo-Dijon-Parmesan sauce. We butter the outside of the bread and then on both sides of the interior bread we dollop the mayo-Dijon-Parmesan sauce (that stuff is delicious so slather a good bit on). The we add the pieces of bacon and a good amount of the Gruyere and extra-sharp Cheddar. 

Ina uses a panini press, but I don't have one- and personally I don't want anymore kitchen appliances- so I make mine the old-fashioned way. Truth be told, this is a great grilled cheese. I love the mayo-Dijon-Parmesan spread. I love the combination of Gruyere and extra-sharp Cheddar and I love the addition of the bacon. I would recommend this if you're looking for a great grilled cheese recipe. We all loved it and You really can't go wrong here, but I just don't know if it is THE ULTIMATE. 

Ultimate Grilled Cheese

Recipe adapted from Food Network

by Ina Garten

Serves 6

12 slices thick-cut bacon, such as applewood smoked

1 cup good mayonnaise

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 white pullman loaf or sourdough bread, sliced 1/2" thick (12 slices)

6 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature

6 ounces aged Gruyere or Comte cheese

6 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar

Preheat the oven to 400F. Arrange the bacon on a baking rack set over a sheet pan in a single layer and roast for 10-20 minutes, checking regularly until crisp. Drain on a plate lined with paper twoels and cut in 1-inch pieces.

Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, Parmesan salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Lay 12 slices of bread on a board and spread each one lightly with butter. Flip the slices and spread each one generously withe mayonnaise mixture. Don't neglect the corners!

Grate the cheeses. Distribute the bacon evenly on half the slices of bread. Pile 1/3 cup grated cheese evenly on top of the bacon and top with the remaining bread slices, sauce side down.

Meanwhile, heat an electric panini press or a skillet. When the press is hot, cook the sandwiches for 3 to 5 minutes in batches until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. If using a skillet, cook the sandwiches slowly over the lowest heat, allowing the cheese to melt. Cook until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown. Allow to cool for 2 minutes. Cut in half and serve warm.

Wine and Cheese @ IHCC

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