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Video: Gooey, gourmet grilled cheese – 3 ways

TODAY recipes
updated 2/27/2012 2:19:15 PM ET 2012-02-27T19:19:15

Recipe: The Classic

Ingredients
  • 4-slices cooked smoked bacon
  • 4 ounces- farmhouse cheddar coarsely grated (about a half a cup) at room temperature
  • 2 slices of artisan country bread 1/4 inch thick, from a medium to large loaf
  • 1-granny smith apple peeled, seeds removed, 1/16th inch thick, ideally on a mandolin
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Preparation

Preheat the oven for the bacon at 325 degrees F. To make the bacon, arrange the bacon in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake in the oven, turning once after 10 minutes, until crispy, approximately 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the slices. Remove the sheet from the oven and drain the bacon on paper towels. Spread the outside of each slice of bread with ½ tablespoon of butter per side. 

Divide the cheese and place half the cheese on top of one slice of bread, butter side down. Follow with a layer of apple and 4 smoked bacon slices. Top with remaining half of cheese. Cover the sandwich with the second slice of bread butter side up.

Heat a 12-inch, nonstick, ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sandwich and cook until golden-brown and the cheese has melted, 3 to 4 minutes per side, pressing down with a spatula to flatten the sandwich and integrate the ingredients. (If the bread looks golden and done but the cheese hasn't completely melted, arrange the pieces in a single layer on a cookie sheet and finish the sandwiches in an oven to 350 degrees F.)

Transfer sandwich to a cutting board and cut it in half, accompany with fresh potato chips, pickled vegetables and enjoy!

Recipe: The Big Cheese

Ingredients
  • 2 ounces - Gruyere coarsely grated (about a quarter cup) at room temperature
  • 2 ounces -Fontina coarsely grated (about a quarter cup) at room temperature
  • 2 ounces -Tellegio coarsely grated (about a quarter cup) at room temperature
  • 2 slices multi-grain 1/4 inch thick, from a medium to large loaf
  • 1 tablespoon-unsalted butter
Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the outside of each slice of bread with ½ tablespoon of butter per side. Place one slice butter side down, and layer with Gruyere, Fontina and Tellegio. Cover the sandwich with the remaining bread slice butter side up.

Heat a 12-inch, nonstick, ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sandwich and cook until golden-brown and the cheese has melted, 3 to 4 minutes per side, pressing down with a spatula to flatten the sandwich and integrate the ingredients. (If the bread looks golden and done but the cheese hasn't completely melted, arrange the pieces in a single layer on a cookie sheet and finish the sandwiches in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F.)

Transfer sandwich to a cutting board and cut it in half, accompany with fresh potato chips, pickled vegetables and enjoy!

Recipe: The Frenchie

Ingredients
  • 3 ounces brie, sliced thinly with rind
  • 2 ounces mushroom duxelle (see recipe)
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 6-inch slices baguette
  • 1 tablespoon-unsalted butter
  • Mushroom duxelle
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 cups white button mushrooms cut medium diced
  • 1 teaspoon of finely diced garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon spring of thyme
  • 3 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup white port (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock or water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the outside of each slice of bread with ½ tablespoon of butter per side. Place one slice of bread butter side down, layer with mushroom duxelle, shallots and brie. Top with the remaining bread slice butter side up. Heat a 12-inch, nonstick, ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sandwich and cook until golden-brown and the cheese has melted, 3 to 4 minutes per side, pressing down with a spatula to flatten the sandwich and integrate the ingredients. (If the bread looks golden and done but the cheese hasn't completely melted, arrange the pieces in a single layer on a cookie sheet and finish the sandwiches in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F.) Transfer sandwich to a cutting board and cut it in half, accompany with fresh potato chips, pickled vegetables and enjoy!

For the mushroom duxelle, place a 10-inch sauté pan over medium heat add butter and oil when butter begins to foam add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes, then add shallots, thyme and garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes add port. Cook for another 2 minutes add chicken stock or water. Cook for another 6-8 minutes till mushrooms are dry, let cool.  

Recipe: The Spaniard

Ingredients
  • 4 ounces Mohan cheese coarsely grated (about a 1/2 a cup) at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 ounces chorizo, thinly sliced
  • 1 ounces piquillo pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon of aïoli (see recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 slices of olive bread 1/4 inch thick, from a medium to large loaf
  • Aïoli
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon kosher sal
  • 1 cup fruity extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the outside of each slice of bread with ½ tablespoon of butter per side.  Place one slice of bread butter side down, and spread 1 tablespoon of aïoli on the inside per slice. Divide the cheese and place half the cheese on top of one slice of bread, butter side down. Follow with a layer of chorizo, piquillo (optional) and paprika (optional). Top with remaining half of cheese. Cover the sandwich with the second slice of bread with aïoli on the inside. 

Heat a 12-inch, nonstick, ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sandwich and cook until golden-brown and the cheese has melted, 3 to 4 minutes per side, pressing down with a spatula to flatten the sandwich and integrate the ingredients. (If the bread looks golden and done but the cheese hasn't completely melted, arrange the pieces in a single layer on a cookie sheet and finish the sandwiches in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F.) Transfer sandwich to a cutting board and cut it in half, accompany with fresh potato chips, pickled vegetables and enjoy!

For the aïoli, put the yolks, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. With the motor running, slowly add the oil in a thin steam to form a thick emulsion. Transfer to a container. Cover and refrigerate the aïoli for up to 1 week. (The reason: My aïoli balsamic vinegar: Lemon juice can sometimes register as excessively acidic in aïoli. Adding balsamic vinegar smoothes out the flavor, and softens the character of the olive oil.)

Serving Size

Aïoli makes 1 1/2 cups

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