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!

havarti and arugula grilled cheese with bacon jam and triple herb butter I howsweeteats.com

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.

MY OTHER RECIPES

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.

havarti and arugula grilled cheese with bacon jam and triple herb butter I howsweeteats.com

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?

havarti and arugula grilled cheese with bacon jam and triple herb butter I howsweeteats.com
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.

havarti and arugula grilled cheese with bacon jam and triple herb butter I howsweeteats.com

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 bacon jam and triple herb butter I howsweeteats.com

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Havarti and Arugula Grilled Cheese with Smoky Bacon Jam and Triple Herb Butter

Ingredients:

bacon jam
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

sandwich
4 thick slices italian or ciabatta bread
12 ounces cold havarti cheese, sliced
2 cups baby arugula greens

Directions:

bacon jam
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.

sandwich
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!

[bacon jam slightly adapted from chow]

All images and text ©.

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havarti and arugula grilled cheese with bacon jam and triple herb butter I howsweeteats.com

I’m gonna go blow up my inner tube for that lazy cheese river.