Havarti and Arugula Grilled Cheese with Smoky Bacon Jam and Triple Herb Butter.
It’s been far too long since I told you how to put cheese in between bread!
Because we really need an exact recipe for it. You know?
So – there are days when I can still taste this seriously perfect grilled cheese from a now-closed local diner. And the most insane part of that is that I haven’t had it in at least 20 plus years. Like I was maybe ten years old when I had my last one, buuuut probably even younger.
It was a 100% plain grilled cheese, made on white bread and most likely with “paper” cheese (american singles. please tell me what you called them.) and gallons of butter. Nothing special, but it is my first memory of a grilled cheese. Plus, we’d consume said grilled cheese before these marathon shopping Fridays that my mom, aunt, mother lovett, lacy and I would go on.
P.S. I have no idea where my shopping habit comes from.
This is not that grilled cheese.
Clearly. But it HAS to be where my grilled cheese obsession started, right?
This grilled cheese right here is an idea that I stole off of my friend Nick, and he JUST told me about it early last week. I was like, um, I am making that. Immediately. I’m stealing your idea and blogging about it because it must be consumed.
It sounds too delicious todo anything else.
And that’s what I did.
Oooh see these supercalifragifantastic ingredients below?
They get it on in a saucepan and do wonderful things with then end result being BACON JAM.
I tried to take a picture (or 359) so your eyes could see the beauty up close, but, um… cooked and pureed bacon and sugar shockingly looks anything but appetizing. There was no saving it. Trust me. So unfair.
Just know that it goes with everything. And anything. The end.
The outside of these bread slices are a total secret keeper because they hold all sorts of crispy, crunchy buttery goodness – but buttery goodness that has been stirred with fresh herbs. So much flavor, you don’t know what to do with yourself.
Alllllllso while we are on the topic of this grilled cheese stuff, can we talk about this crispy fried zucchini grilled cheese?
Oh hi I’m dead.
Havarti and Arugula Grilled Cheese with Smoky Bacon Jam and Triple Herb Butter
- 1 pound bacon, chopped
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar, light or dark
- 1 cup bourbon
- 2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoons unsalted butter
triple herb butter
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano
- 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 thick slices italian or ciabatta bread
- 12 ounces cold havarti cheese, sliced
- 2 cups baby arugula greens
- Heat a large dutch oven over medium-low heat and add the bacon. Cook until the fat is started to render and a few pieces of the bacon are crispy. Stir in the onion, paprika, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and cook for another minute or so.
- Stream in 3/4 cup bourbon and 1/2 cup of chicken stock, stirring with a wooden spoon to release any bits of flavor from the bottom of the pot. Simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture has thickened. Stir in the remaining bourbon and 1 cup of stock, cooking again for 10 more minutes while stirring, until that liquid has evaporated too. Add the last of the chicken stock.
- Transfer the mixture to a blender and very carefully, blend until pureed. (I put a towel over the top and hold it down.)
- Return the mixture to the same pot and cook for another 10 minutes until it has cooked down a bit more and thickened. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Stir in the butter. Let cool completely before scooping into an airtight container and storing in the fridge. I like
triple herb butter
- Whisk ingredients together until combined.
- Heat a griddle or skillet over medium-low heat. To assemble the sandwich, spread the inside slices with bacon jam. Top with a few slices of cheese and 1 cup of arugula each. Spread the outsides with the herb butter (I do one side, put it in the skillet and spread the top side as the bottom cooks.) Cook until the bread is toasty and golden brown and the cheese is melted. Serve with extra bacon jam!
Did you make this recipe?
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I appreciate you so much!
I’m gonna go blow up my inner tube for that lazy cheese river.
47 Comments on “Havarti and Arugula Grilled Cheese with Smoky Bacon Jam and Triple Herb Butter.”
How long will the delicious Jam stay in the fridge? Assuming I don’t eat it all in one sitting..
Absolutely. I just hope that the saying “you are what you eat” doesn’t become a reality for me because I’m not eager to turn into bacon jam. Or am I? This looks seriously splendidly scrumptious.
I have been wanting to recreate a grilled cheese with bacon jam like this from when I went on vacation – and you have now given me the reason to. Thank you!!
Cheese between bread is my favorite kind of thing to put in my mouth. And bacon jam is my jam! Perfect combo!
There is a place in Collingswood Nj called The Pop Shop. You need to look it up. And go there. I need to go there right now otherwise I might come to your house and order this from you. Looks great
Grilled cheese wins every time! This bacon jam sounds amazing – can’t wait to try it.
Bacon jam is everything. Might have to try this on the loaf of pumpernickel i just picked up :D
um. I don’t even LIKE cheese and I’m drooling. and bacon jam? ughhh I’m dead. i’ll make it for Frankie – maybe he’ll marry me now?
I don’t remember what I called American Singles, other than the fact that their existence in the world makes me want to cry. This grilled cheese on the other hand is dreamy. The herb butter!
This looks just mouth-watering! I love fancy grilled cheese sandwiches. Total comfort food for me.
I think we all have fond memories of the “American Grilled Cheeses” from our childhood even though we would never order them now! I love the idea of mixing herbs into the butter for the outer layer – stealing that for sure!
Luci’s Morsels | fashion. food. frivolity.
Kraft singles or American singles is what I’ve always called them. Or deli cheese if it was sliced from the deli, of course you can get any cheese sliced but I am referring to white American.
Also, I still remember the taste of potato skins from LUMS. I think that restaurant closed in my town when I was around 10 as well.
This is making my mouth water!
I’m dead looking at this photos!
Looks so gooooood ,ooh I have some Stonewall kitchen Bacon Onion Maple Jam ,I will only use that today ,because I don’t have alot of time to make your recipe tonight ,but I will definitely make a batch of yours tomorrow. After all It wouldn’t be the same if I don’t. This will be secondary to yours of course.
Three cheers for bacon jam!! Hip, hip, HOORAY! Looks incredible. :)
So I thought I didn’t like grilled cheese, UNTIL NOW! These look amazing, and I reeeeeaaaallly want that polka dotted knife. Where can they be found?
This looks AHHHMAZING.
And I’ve always called it “plastic cheese” :p haha
This looks AMAZING! I love grilled cheese and the idea of adding herbs and bacon makes my heart flutter! :) :)
My boyfriend would be in heaven with this grilled cheese. I’m all for the cheese and arugula. Sounds like a great lunch to me. :)
Bacon Jam?! Hmmm. I think this looks WONDERFUL. I want to make it immediately.
– Kaitlyn | http://www.TheCrownFox.com
I think the first part of this recipe that I will embark on is this bacon jam. And then I might just spread it on some toast and eat. My gosh this looks good!
I’m so making this tonight!! Thanks!
I made these tonight for dinner. When I told my husband I was making grilled cheese with bacon jam he was really skeptical, but once I served him his sandwich he proclaimed that it was the best grilled cheese ever. I followed your recipe to a T except I added some garlic, a bit extra brown sugar and a bit of balsamic vinegar to the jam. I feel like it helped to fill out the flavour.
Now I have bacon jam and herbed butter sitting in my fridge and I’m dreaming of all the ways I can use it. :)
My mom called it “hilly” cheese because she made us cheese toast for breakfast, which was just bread with either longhorn cheese or American cheese on top broiled it the oven. The American cheese would bubble up in one big bubble “hill” and you could actually pull it off and eat it by itself and there would still be melty cheese underneath. When she made it for us she’d always ask if we wanted hilly or longhorn cheese.
I made the bacon jam, following the instructions to the letter and it ended up with a layer of grease on the top. It’s still warm, maybe it will incorporate once its cooled. But, dumb question maybe… should i have drained the bacon after it crisped? The flavor is good so it won’t go to waste, but wanted to ask the question.
OMG Jessica, my wife is losing her mind over this recipe!! You’ve outdone yourself with this one.
Are you serious?? This looks like the best grilled cheese in the entire world!! My mind is blown with the endless bacon jam possibilities! Definitely doing this next weekend.Thanks for sharing!
I am not American but I am betting that our Kraft cheese slices weren’t that much different from yours. And I called them “plastic” because they were wrapped in plastic and they tasted like plastic. I thought all my Christmases had come at once when we could buy proper cheddar in blocks in the supermarkets. That was before you were born of course ……
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I made this with a few modifications – my daughter does not eat pork so I made it with turkey bacon. I also added regular mustard to the jam, bourbon, and regular a jalapeno instead of a pickled one. I used four types of cheese, swiss, munster, qouda and goat. We have a rating system when we try a new recipe. New recipes are either a “winner” to be made often and not share even if someone is begging you for a bite or “failure” to be tossed in the garbage and an exorcism held ASAP. This was resoundingly a WINNER!! LOL
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