Candied Jalapeño Bacon Grilled Cheese!
Bacon grilled cheese is the star of the show today.
If you’re a grilled cheese lover, only you can appreciate the high-maintenance style of this grilled cheese. It’s off the charts.
And it comes with a soup dipper!
REJOICE FOR FALL.
This is a homemade version of a grilled cheese sandwich that I had over the summer on our michigan vacation. Actually, I think I’ve had it two years in a row!
That version is SUPER spicy, so I tamed it down a bit since I don’t love overly spicy things. To me, foods that are crazy spicy don’t have much taste – all I can taste is heat. Maybe I have the most sensitive taste buds in the world but I just don’t get covering every meal in hot sauce.
Tell me your thoughts! Am I alone? In my family, I’m pretty much alone on this one.
That grilled cheese has pickled jalapeños but I went ahead and used quick candied. You know I freak over the sweet + savory combo. Doing a quick version of the candied jalapeños takes a bit of heat out, even though we leave in the seeds.
Then we have a bacon jam. Smoky bacon jam! I’ve actually used this before on a grilled cheese and it might just be the most made grilled cheese here on the blog. You guys looooove it.
This is another one of those recipes that is my version of self-care. I mean, sure, it’s comfort food. But we tend to look at grilled cheese recipes as being a quick and easy way to get a meal in, even if it comfort food or something more indulgent than we usually enjoy.
With a recipe like this – one that tastes incredible, is ridiculously satisfying and on the majorly decadent side – I love taking my time to make it.
I mean, let’s be real. With two little kids, I barely take time to do ANYTHING. A lot of times we are rushing around or out the door, they always want things ten minutes ago and throwing working into that mix? It’s basically a race throughout the week to see if I can accomplish everything I need to.
Taking the time to make a treat like this is not only something I enjoy – but it gives us extras for other meals! Both the jalapeños and bacon jam stay great in the fridge for up to a week and can be used on so many other things!
Now for the fun part… a soup dipper!
If you have a copy of Seriously Delish, then you know I have a delish grilled cheese in there and you make a small batch potato soup to go with it. In this recipe, I made a half batch of my creamy cauliflower soup. But you could also do a batch of this tomato soup, or this sweet potato soup, this pumpkin bisque or this caramelized leek soup! Anything that is creamy and silky makes for the best dipper ever.
This almost seems like a basic or overdone grilled cheese combo in my brain. But I had to share because it.tastes.amazing. Like you won’t believe how delicious it is. And if you take the time to put it all together… you are my people.
Candied Jalapeño Bacon Grilled Cheese
- 4 jalapeño peppers sliced
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 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
- 1 cup bourbon
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- To bring this entire recipe together, I suggest making the candied jalapenos and bacon jam first. You can even do it a day before. Once that’s ready, prepare your soup and while it cooks, make your grilled cheese.
- candied jalapeños
- To make the candied jalapeños, Add the vinegar, sugar and garlic powder to a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Allow the mixture to boil for 2 to 3 minutes, then add in the peppers and stir with a wooden spoon, making sure all of the slices are submerged. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the peppers with a slotted spoon and place them in a jar or a bowl. Continue to cook the liquid for another 5 minutes until it has reduced by half, then pour it over the jalapeños. Allow the peppers to cool completely – you can do this a day ahead of time too.
- 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.
- grilled cheese
- To make the grilled cheese, heat a griddle or skillet over medium-low heat. To assemble the sandwich, spread one of the inside slices with bacon jam. Top with the grated cheese and a few spoonfuls of the jalapenos. Cook until the bread is toasty and golden brown and the cheese is melted. Serve with a soup dipper!
Carbs with a side of carbs is just how I like it!