I’m drawing a lot of inspiration these days from my friend Bethany who has started to come into her own in the kitchen. First she shared with me the Thai Chicken Taco recipe, which I made and adored. A few days later she sent me a picture of a grilled cheese sandwich she recreated after eating it at a local eatery and exclaimed her version was restaurant worthy. This was signal to me that I needed to make the sandwich straight away.
As it happened, I already had bacon and bread on hand. Which meant that I just needed to pick up some blackberry jam, a jalapeño and some cheese. When I found blackberry jam on sale at my local Von’s, I knew it was destiny.
When I first started making grilled cheese I had a heck of a time trying to figure out how not to burn the bread but still melt the cheese. Over years of honing my grilled cheese skills I’ve learned that you need to cook the sandwich over medium low heat. Another trick I do is to cook both pieces of bread at the same time in a large pan and covering the pan to help the cheese melt faster. Then I put the two ends together to form a sandwich. That’s what I did with this one.
When I first took a bite of this sandwich I was a bit miffed at myself. I could barely taste in blackberry and I thought I had done a decent job of making sure to get blackberry jam spread all the way across the slice of bread. Turns out I hadn’t. As I took subsequent bites and got more into the blackberry, I got happier and happier. You want cheese, jalapeño and blackberry in every bite. It’s a grand combo. I think next time I might make this sandwich with whole black berries that I mash to make a jam leaving some of the blackberries whole. (I’ve done this before to make oatmeal and overnight oats.) I like the idea of bits of blackberry contrasting with pieces of jalepeno melted together with cheese.
- provolone cheese, sliced thin
- thick sliced bacon, cooked to desired doneness
- jalapeno, chopped fine
- blackberry jam or preserves (or mash up some whole blackberries
- On one slice of bread spread a generous amount of jam. Top with thin slices of provolone and chopped jalepeno. Top the other slice of bread with additional cheese and pieces of bacon.
- Melt one tablespoon of butter in a large pan over medium low heat allowing the butter to pool where you’ll place the bread. Place both pieces of bread in the pan and cover. Heat through until cheese melts and bottoms of the bread begin to brown.
- Remove from heat and press the two pieces of bread together to form a sandwich. Cut and serve immediately.