Friday, March 30, 2012

NomNom: Grilled Cheese With Bacon And Thousand Island Dressing

I remember the first time I discovered that the 'secret sauce' in McDonald's Big Mac sandwich was basically thousand island dressing. I sorta felt cheated. All that time I really had thought they created this special sauce but it is in fact a slight variation (they add garlic and mustard) to a generic salad dressing they used for their burgers. I suppose I can blame that on my unrefined taste buds as a child. I dunno.

I know much better now than to fill my stomach with fast food (minus the once in a blue moon cravings), but as a child, that was probably my favorite burger. When I came across this recipe that uses thousand island dressing in a grilled cheese, I couldn't help but be curious as to what it would taste like.

I'm a cheese lover. In fact, it's very, very, very rare that there is a cheese I don't like. I'm a huge supporter in that I think that cheese makes everything taste better--this is how I feel about bacon. When you add those two components together, well, I mean, what can I say? The idea of a simple grilled cheese sandwich not only conjures up fond childhood memories of my mom making them for my sister and I, but there's also something very comforting about this sandwich. Hmm tomato soup sounds good right about now too...

I made slight variations to the recipe but nonetheless, it was really tasty. Adding thousand island dressing to cheddar cheese and bacon adds another dimension to a simple grilled cheese sandwich that I highly recommend. There are so many variations to a grilled cheese sandwich, so why not start with this one? (It was also noted in the recipe that Greg Morris, owner of Oaks Gourmet in Los Angeles makes it every Wednesday at his shop's Grilled Cheese Night).
I'm off to the Bahamas today--in fact by the time you read this I'll probably be on the way! Posting will be sparse and I hope to resume by later next week, but I wanted to leave you with this recipe because I think it's something worth making.

Have a great weekend.

Ingredients: Yields 4 sandwiches (Adapted from Food Network Magazine, Apr 2011)
8 strips thick-cut maple-glazed bacon (I used turkey bacon)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more as needed
8 slices sourdough bread (I used wheat bread)
12 ounces cotswold cheese (double Gloucester with chives) or cheddar, shredded
4 tablespoons Thousand Island dressing

1. Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.Wipe out the skillet.

2. Heat the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add 2 bread slices. Top each with one-quarter of the cheese and 2 strips bacon. Spread 2 bread slices with some of the dressing and press them on top of the sandwiches, dressing-side down. Cook until the cheese melts and the bread is golden, 3-4 minutes per side. Repeat to make 2 mores sandwiches, adding more butter as needed.

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