APPLE-BACON GRILLED CHEESE

I love to fancy up a grilled cheese sandwich, and that I most certainly did by adding thinly sliced Granny Smith apple, turkey bacon, and Dijon mustard to this lunch treat. Wonderfully yum (though, in Junior Too’s case I was asked to “hold the Dijon”).

Apple Bacon Grilled Cheese

4 slices bread (I used our favorite sourdough from Panera Bread’s bakery)

1 tbsp Dijon Mustard

4 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 small Granny Smith apple, sliced thin

6 strips turkey bacon, fried

1 tbsp butter

1) Assemble each of 2 sandwiches as follows: spread mustard on both sides of bread, top bottom slice with one-fourth the cheese, one-half the apple slices, one-half the bacon, one-fourth the cheese, the top slice of bread

2) Melt butter in skillet over medium heat; add sandwich to skillet and cook 4-5 minutes each side until golden brown and lightly crunchy; remove from skillet and serve immediately

Servings: 2

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HOISIN CHICKEN AND PINEAPPLE GRILLED SANDWICHES

For Sunday brunch, I made this recipe as sandwiches and quesadillas. The quesadillas were quite good, but the sandwiches on sourdough…scrumptious! Junior said, “Mom, these are the best grilled cheese sandwiches ever!”

Hoisin Chicken & Pineapple Grilled Sandwiches

1/2 pineapple, cored and cut into wedges

1-1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins (about 12 pieces)

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1/4 cup hoisin sauce thinned with 1/8 cup water

8 slices sourdough bread

3/4 cup monterey Jack cheese

20 jalapeno slices

3/4 cup cheddar cheese

4 tbsp butter

1) In grill pan, grill wedges of pineapple on medium-high heat, 1-2 minutes each side; remove from heat; slice into 1/4″ pieces and set aside

2) Lay chicken tenderloins in pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill on medium-high heat 2 minutes; turn and baste cooked side with hoisin sauce (not thinned); grill 2 minutes, turn and baste with remaining hoisin sauce (not thinned); remove from heat

3) Assemble each sandwich in this order: sourdough bread slice, monterey Jack cheese, chicken tenderloins, pineapple, jalapenos, drizzle of thinned hoisin sauce, cheddar cheese, sourdough bread slice

4) In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; grill sandwiches on both sides, being careful when flipping (chicken is inclined to mutiny); when cheese is melted, serve!

Servings: 4

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 04/01/12

CARAMELIZED APPLE-HAM-PROVOLONE GRILLED CROISSANT

Shrimp and noodles was on the menu tonight. However, when I was tempted by fresh-baked croissants and crisp Fuji apples, I took a detour and paired them with black forest ham and provolone cheese. Granted, pressed and grilled croissants lose some of their lofty beauty, but–goodness!–talk about delicious. Can I see a show of thumbs? Oh, yes!
Caramelized Apple-Ham-Provolone Grilled Croissant

4 tbsp unsalted butter, divided

2 apples (I used Fuji), cored and cut into 1/2″ thick slices

3 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

4 croissants, sliced sandwich-style

4 slices provolone

4 oz thin-sliced black forest ham

1) In large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter (reserving 2 tbsp); add apple slices and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally; sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon and, stirring often, cook 4-5 minutes until sauce thickens; remove from heat

2) Assemble sandwiches as follows, dividing ingredients between 4 croissants: bottom slice of croissant, provolone, ham, caramelized apples (extra sauce drizzled over apples), and top slice of croissant

3) In large skillet over medium heat, melt reserved 2 tbsp butter; place croissant sandwiches in skillet and grill 3-4 minutes each side until cheese melts and croissant is lightly crispy; serve with a salad (or some such)

Servings: 4

JALAPENO POPPER AND BACON GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH

Yes, it’s another jalapeno popper sandwich, this time with bacon. Yum, yum, yum–and gone, gone, gone! As for Junior Too, he liked this sandwich MUCH better than my fabulous (if I may say so myself) Mushroom-Basmati Rice Soup. Guys and their meat-and-cheese-stuffed, buttered-and-grilled slabs of bread. Not that I don’t like them too 🙂

8 jalapeno peppers, cut in quarters lengthwise and seeded

8 slices sourdough bread (good quality–Panera Bread is our favorite)

8 tbsp reduced-fat cream cheese, softened

sea salt

ground black pepper

3/4 cup crumbled tortilla chips

8 strips turkey bacon strips, fried to lightly crisp

4 slices sharp cheddar cheese

2 tbsp butter

1) Preheat oven to broil

2) Place pepper quarters on baking sheet, skin side up; broil 8-10 minutes until skin browns and blisters; remove from oven, let cool, peel and discard blistered skin

3) Lay out 4 slices of bread and top each with 1/4 of the following ingredients: cream cheese, sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper, jalapeno strips, crumbled tortilla chips, bacon, and cheddar cheese; top with remaining slices of bread

4) In non-stick pan* (I used a grill pan) over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp butter (reserving 1 tbsp); add sandwiches to pan and grill until cheese begins to melt and bread is golden brown (4-5 minutes); before grilling second side, spread remaining butter over top slices of bread; flip, grill until golden brown; and eat!

Note: Depending on size of your pan, you may have to make sandwiches in batches, so divide butter accordingly

Serves: 4