Sangiovese (and all the other names the Italians call it by) is the grape that makes Chianti. It produces wines that have lots of acidity, plenty of earthiness and red fruit flavors.
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This tomato basil bacon grilled cheese takes your run-of-the-mill grilled cheese sandwich and kicks up not just one notch, but many, many notches. You’re going to want to add this sandwich to your sandwich rotation. Give it a try and you too will become a believer in the deliciousness of this sandwich!
Our tomato basil bacon grilled cheese sandwich starts with a very delicious and unique cheese. That cheese is the tomato basil cheddar from our favorite local cheesemaker – Hill Valley Dairy! Made in small batches using milk from the cheesemaker’s family farm, this cheddar cheese is a delicious treat. Other places make similar herbed cheddars and if you must, you can sub a plain cheddar for this recipe, but if you’re in the area, you need to stop at Lake Geneva Country Meats to get this amazing cheese! If you’re outside the area, get in touch with Hill Valley Dairy and arrange to have some shipped to you. It’s that good!
A trick that you can use to make an amazing grilled cheese sandwich is to use shredded cheese instead of sliced cheese. We learned this trick from Ron at Hill Valley Dairy and it’s really a game changer. The cheese melts more evenly and faster – this ensures you don’t overtoast the bread. Also, with a cheese like this tomato basil cheddar that you probably didn’t have sliced on a deli slicer, it can be hard to get even, thin slices for melting. Shredding the cheese takes the knife work out of the recipe and simplifies the tomato basil bacon grilled cheese sandwich making process.
Good bread is essential to a good grilled cheese sandwich. While we love sourdough breads, we prefer using a plain multigrain or white bread for grilled cheese. A simple white bread helps to promote even toasting of the bread, and it prevents ingredients from oozing out the holes insde a sourdough style bread. Our favorite local baker is Simple Bakery in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and we used their country white loaf for this recipe. The Hill Valley Dairy cheesemaker Ron like to use mayo instead of butter for his grilled cheese sandwiches, but we use butter in this recipe. Just be sure to either melt the butter and brush it on, or have it at room temperature for easy spreading.
What do you think of this tomato basil bacon grilled cheese sandwich recipe? Do you have a favorite variation on the traditional grilled cheese sandwich? Perhaps you enjoy something a little meat-ier like this BBQ Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese recipe? Be sure to let us know your tips and tricks to make amazing grilled cheese sandwiches in the comments below. We’d love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to leave us a rating and / or some comments with all your grilled cheese talk!
Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place two slices of bread butter side down in a cold, large, non-stick skillet. Top each slice with half the shredded tomato basil cheddar, three slices of bacon, 2 – 3 tomato slices, and a generous helping of dry Italian seasoning. Place the other slice of bread on top of the sandwich with the butter side facing up.
Turn the burner to medium heat and cover the sandwiches with a metal bowl to help the cheese melt without over toasting your bread. Flip the sandwich once the bottom of the bread is golden and toasted, about 3 minutes. Cover with the dome again and cook until the other side of the bread is toasted, about another 2-3 minutes, then remove the sandwich from the skillet.
Let the sandwich rest for a few minutes before serving. Once you’re ready to serve, slice the sandwich in half and serve with crunchy potato chips and dill pickles. Enjoy!