Blackberry-Bacon Grilled Cheese
This is a delicious sweet-and-spicy version (one of my favorite flavor combinations) of a traditional grilled cheese sandwich. Crisp bacon—another fave—adds a smoky element to the combo. This is excellent with my Cream of Tomato Soup on page 124.
Serves 4 - Hands-on 25 minutes - Total 25 minutes
6 slices thick-cut bacon
2 tablespoons blackberry jam
2 teaspoons adobo sauce, from canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
4 tablespoons butter, softened
8 slices sourdough bread
4 slices Havarti cheese
1⁄4 cup pickled jalapeño slices
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high 8 to 9 minutes or until crisp; remove the bacon, and drain on paper towels.
Stir together the blackberry jam and adobo sauce. Spread the butter on 1 side of each bread slice. Place 4 bread slices, buttered sides down, on wax paper. Top with the blackberry jam mixture, cheese, bacon, and pickled jalapeño peppers; top with the remaining bread slices, buttered sides up.
Cook the sandwiches in a nonstick skillet or preheated panini press over medium 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and the cheese is melted.
You can change this up and experiment with it as much as you want. Use a different kind of cheese: Monterey Jack, Swiss . . . or pepper Jack, if you want it even spicier. I sometimes use raw jalapeños instead of the pickled kind for a bit of crunch and freshness. Shredded ham instead of bacon would be another good swap to turn this into a sweet-and-smoky, hot ham-and-cheese sandwich.