The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

Grilled Cheese with Creamy Blue Cheese, 
Aged Cheddar, Apples and Bacon

As part of our running series on grilled cheeses, I wanted to make something decidedly less vegetarian, and a little bit more full of bacon!  Well, here it is! This grilled cheese includes Saint Agur blue, a ten-year aged cheddar, sautéed apples, and Black Forest bacon. A bit of sweet, a bit of bite, a bit of smokiness, and a ton of melted cheesy goodness!

Saint Agur
Saint Agur is a cow's milk blue cheese from France. It is a double cream cheese, which gives it a very soft, creamy and more delicate flavor than many blues you may have tasted. It has distinctive bluish-green mold veins and a soft, spreadable texture. If the usual sharp tang of blue cheeses isn't your style, try Saint Agur. It's mild flavor may be just what you are looking for. Either way, it is a delicious, flavorful cheese that melts wonderfully and adds a ton of flavor to the sandwich without taking over the other flavors.
Hook's Ten-Year
Hook's ten-year cheddar is a cow's milk cheddar made in Wisconsin, U.S.A. It is aged for ten years, but unlike many cheeses that are aged for this long, has no mold veins. Rather, it is a dense cheddar with a sharp, complex flavor. A bit spicy, with some tang and a mellow aftertaste, this cheese is one you won't want to miss. It also melts very well, and went great with our blue pick.

Loaf of fresh wheat bread
1/4 pound of Saint Agur blue
1/8 pound of Hook's ten-year cheddar
2 small or medium apples, or one larger one (I used the tart but sweet Pink Lady as my choice for this sandwich)
1/2 pound of Black Forest bacon
One clove of fresh garlic, minced
Fruit vinegar (I used a delicious and sweet pomegranate vinegar for this)
Spices: black pepper, sea salt, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper

If your bread is not sliced, slice it into thick sandwich-sized slices.
Peel your apples, and slice them into small segments that fit your desired size.  If you like big segments in your sandwich, you can make them a bit bigger.  Just be sure that they aren't too big for your sandwich to melt together properly; remember, this is a grilled cheese.
Shred your cheddar cheese to a small shred

In a pan set to medium heat, layer your bacon slices side by side (note that you will probably need to cook your bacon in multiple batches, unless you have a grill).  Remember to flip your bacon pieces as they reach the desired texture.  I like my bacon very crispy and on the verge of being burnt, but you can make yours however you like.

While your bacon is cooking, set another pan to medium-low heat, and prepare your apples.
Melt two tablespoons of butter in the empty pan, and add your apples.
Once the apples begin to soften, add about an eighth teaspoon of ground black pepper, a small sprinkling of sea salt (I used fleur de sel), about a half teaspoon of smoked paprika, a quarter teaspoon of cumin, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.  Also add your minced garlic clove.
Continue to cook the apples until they have just become soft on the inside.  You want the apples to maintain their texture and not fall apart, but you don't want them to be crunchy.  Once they are done cooking, remove them to a bowl, draining off as much of the excess oil as you can.  Add a splash of vinegar and stir to combine.

Continue to cook more bacon as necessary, and get started on your sandwiches.
Set a cast iron skillet to medium-low heat.
Butter one side of each piece of bread.  Melt the butter before hand for ease of application, if you desire.
Very carefully, use a bristle brush to apply some of the remaining sauce from the apple pan to the other side (the inside of your bread slices).  This step is optional.  If you do not desire to do this, butter the inside of the bread as well.
Lay one two slices, butter-side down, in the pan.  On each piece, layer some pieces of blue cheese, a sprinkling of cheddar, three or four apple slices, and about a strip and a half of bacon.  Make sure to either crumble or smash down the bacon a bit, so it fits inside the sandwich.  Add a bit more shredded cheddar on top.
Once you have everything you want inside, place the other pieces of bread on top, and press down so that the cheese will melt both sides of the sandwich together.
Cook the sandwiches until the bread becomes a medium golden brown, and the edges begin to get crispy.  Flip, and do the same on the other side.  Press the sandwich down to make sure that the cheese is melting both sides together properly.

Repeat this for each sandwich.  Serve warm, and enjoy!  Serve the sandwiches with any extra slices of bacon you may have.

Check out more on our grilled cheese series with Insalata Caprese "The Grilled Cheese"
and Pear And Gouda Grilled Cheese Sandwich on Honest Cooking 

Posted by Adam
(Truffle Shuffle)

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