Did you know April is National Grilled Cheese month? I didn’t either, it just seems I’ve missed that note the past couple of years. I love grilled cheese sandwiches and have since I was little and it meant nothing more than a slice of American cheese between two slices of Wonder Bread. When the folks at Tillamook Cheese asked if I would like to participate in their RecipePalooza this month using their cheese; it was a win win for sure. I’m already a fan of Tillamook; how could I go wrong?
I’ve done two sandwiches I loved; the first one is featured today. I’ve never claimed to be a recipe developer, as a matter of fact I’m not even sure what that means. Seldom do I follow a recipe to the letter when using one; most often having to put my own spin on a dish. But it’s just as seldom that I do trials to determine if what I think I want to do will work and that’s what I envision recipe development must be. Multiple efforts to effect the best results. Well, that I most certainly did this time around!
I wanted to make something using the Tillamook Sharp Cheddar combined with apples as those two are such classics together. I originally decided to use my own home cured bacon and as hard as it might be to believe since I love it so much, it was a bit too much of everything in this particular effort. The bacon was both a bit too thick cut and a bit too salty. Luckily I had some fabulous pancetta in the fridge that fried up nicely with much thinner slices and had been cured with a bit of pepper; that was a nice addition.
I was inspired to try a grilled sandwich using a croissant. Mostly because I had just purchased a flat of croissants and though I would be using a lot of them for an Easter breakfast dish, I knew I would have several left over; my inspiration often comes from knowing I have something on hand that has to be used!
The first effort tasted fine but I thought the croissant did not hold up as well as I would have liked and one simple twist helped immensely; I toasted the inside edges a bit before constructing the sandwich; that one easy step helped it manage that warm, melty cheese so much better! Additionally I thought it needed a spread of some type. I recalled a mayonnaise combination that I once had on a brie and apple sandwich and tried my hand at re-creating something similar. Dried cranberries, mayo, mustard and just a dab of honey did the trick…this was a wonderful combination of flavors and textures and if I could get my friend that was here to go to my blog…I know she would tell you the same!
- 1Tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 Teaspoon whole grain mustard
- ½ Teaspoon honey
- 1 Tablespoon dried cranberries, chopped
- Butter for grilling
- 1 large Croissant, sliced in half
- 2 slices Tillamook Sharp Cheddar
- 2 slices Pancetta
- One half apple, cored and sliced
- To make the cranberry spread, blend together the mayonnaise, mustard, honey and dried cranberries and set aside.
- Place the pancetta in a pan or on a flat grill heated to medium. Cook until brown and starting to crisp. Drain. Wipe off pan or grill.
- Melt 1 teaspoon of butter in medium heated pan or on flat grill. Place cut edges of sliced croissant face down on butter until slightly toasted; approximately 1 minute. Remove from pan.
- Melt another teaspoon of butter on pan or grill and place bottom of croissant in pan, toasted side facing up. Layer 1 slice of cheese, apple slices, pancetta and a 2nd slice of cheese on top of croissant. Spread the inside of the top piece of croissant with the cranberry spread and place it with spread face down on layered ingredients.
- Lower heat and cover the sandwich with a lid or aluminum foil until the cheese starts to melt; carefully watching the underside so as not to burn. Carefully flip the sandwich over and repeat. Remove from heat, cut in half and enjoy.
Some More Grilled Cheese Sandwiches You Might Enjoy!
- Grilled Cheese and Short Rib Sandwich
- Bacon Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- Eight Gooey Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Disclosure: I was provided with the cheese for this post from Tillamook Cheese. All recipes and opinions are my own.