Northern California has been receiving crazy amounts of rain and I am loving it! Hopefully we’ll finally get pulled out of this drought we’ve been in for years. One thing is for sure though – due to all the rain I’m eating lunch at home more than usual, which begs for creativity. I don’t like having the same lunch day in and day out, so today I set out to find a way to make the every day sandwich more exciting. The Bacon and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese sandwich was born, and I expect it will have many repeat performances.
Last Fall, I learned Smucker’s had come out with a new line of spreads called the Fruit+Honey spread. I love the notion of leaving out a bunch of additives, and keeping the ingredient list simple and honest. I put all of the flavors and varieties to use with no problems, but I was stuck on the Smucker’s Fruit+Honey Strawberry Jalapeño spread, and couldn’t figure out what to do with it.
My family loves pepper jelly over the top of a brick of cream cheese, and served with crackers. This works great with the Strawberry Jalapeño spread, but I wanted to do this new spread justice, and come up with a really cool recipe that warranted a little heat. I can’t do straight hot, so I love the combination of sweet and spicy. Add the Fruit+Honey Strawberry Jalapeño spread to this grilled cheese and you get sweet, spicy, creamy and savory! Plus, there’s bacon!
When I was building this epic sandwich, I really just started rummaging through the refrigerator, trying to think of what would pair well with the Strawberry Jalapeño spread. We frequently put Colby Jack cheese on our sandwiches, but fortunately due to a habit of late night snacking on cheese and crackers, we happened to have some more adventurous cheeses in the deli drawer. Every time I stop into Grocery Outlet I check out the cheese section, and pick up a new variety I just have to try. Then it becomes a late night snack for the husband and me. This week’s find was a delicious Wensleydale and cranberry cheese. This cheese is is packed with flavor and pairs so well with the spread, bacon and grilled onions. If you can’t find any Wensleydale, you could always go with Swiss cheese, or any other variety you might like. Don’t be afraid to go bold with your cheese though – this sandwich can handle it!
- 2 slices of sourdough bread
- 1 Tbs butter
- 2 Tbs Smucker's Fruit+Honey Strawberry Jalapeño spread
- 4 slices Wensleydale and cranberry cheese
- 4 slices bacon
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, sliced
- 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet, and reserve 1 Tbs of the bacon grease. Set bacon aside on paper towels, and break pieces in half.
- Cook onions in the bacon grease, for about 3 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and cook 2 minutes more.
- While onions are cooking, butter one side of each slice of bread and place butter side down in skillet, on medium heat.
- While in the skillet, top one slice of bread with Strawberry Jalapeño spread, and the other with cheese, bacon, and caramelized onions.
- Put sandwich together and grill bottom is golden brown. Flip after 4-5 minutes and continue to cook until cheese is melted and both sides of the bread are golden.