Great grilled cheese is all about exercising a little bit of patience by cooking the sandwich over medium heat until you end up with a golden crust and perfectly molten interior. If you’re still finding yourself with half-melted cheese and burnt bread, start practicing. Sub-par sandwiches simply won’t do.
After you’ve mastered the basics, you can graduate to advanced placement grilled cheese, which brings us to the here and now. Your basic cheese and bread combo becomes something otherworldly when you add toppings like eggs and bacon or even chocolate and fruit. Up for the challenge? Try these six gourmet twists to take your grilled cheese to new heights.
1. Bacon, Egg, and Maple Grilled Cheese
This recipes from Food Network is like the more indulgent version of a standard breakfast sandwich. It’s not as speedy as your typical grilled cheese since the bacon takes about 25 minutes, but it’s a perfect weekend treat. If you typically go for sausage instead of bacon, remove the casings, and brown the meat on the stove. Add the syrup and reduce until it coats the sausage. From this point, you can follow the recipe as written.
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 4 large eggs
- 9 slices cheddar cheese, one quartered
- 8 (⅓- to ½-inc-thick) slices brioche bread
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange bacon slices on a baking sheet and bake until fat begins to render, about 10 minutes. Brush both sides of each bacon slice with syrup and continue to bake until caramelized and edges brown, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Let cool on rack for 5 minutes, then cut in half.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add eggs and fry until they’re set, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Arrange four slices of bread on a work surface and top each with one whole slice of cheese, three pieces of bacon, one of the small cheese slices, one egg, then another whole slice of cheese. Close sandwiches with remaining bread. Evenly spread remaining butter on both sides of each sandwich.
Cook two sandwiches in same skillet set over medium heat. Cover and cook until bread is golden, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook, uncovered, until browned and cheese is melted, about 2 minutes longer. Repeat with remaining sandwiches and serve.