Going Coastal Recipe: Grilled Cheese

Of all the comfort foods people fall back on during tough times, the grilled cheese is likely the one most people have first hand knowledge preparing.  I mean it’s two pieces of bread, a slice of cheese and butter – just add heat.  Any heat really, remember that great scene from Benny & Joon where Johnny Depp makes them using an iron?  Classic.

Yeah, grilled cheese is an easy one so why should you waste your time reading a recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich?  Because on the Third Coast we do things just a little bit different, like the Grilled Pimento Cheese and Crispy Bacon Sandwich.See first it starts with the Southern classic, Pimento Cheese.  More specifically my. . .

Nacho Ordinary Pimento Cheese:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup cream cheese
1 jar pimentos, drained
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese crumbles
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 jalapeno, finely diced
Black pepper to taste

In a food processor combine the mayo, cream cheese, half the pimentos, shredded cheddar and half the jalapeno.  Process until smooth.  Add the pepper, remaining  pimentos, remaining jalapenos and the cheddar crumbles and pulse just until blended.  Refrigerate for at least one hour.

While the pimento cheese is chilling, take six slices of thick cut bacon and slice it into lardons then render until crunchy.  Drain thoroughly.

In a stand mixer place 1 stick of butter, softened, and a quarter cup of mayonnaise then cream together.  This mixture is better than plain butter for making grilled cheese.  Oh, and there’s no extra charge for the pimento cheese recipe.  That’s a little something we like to call lagniappe.  Next stop, the actual sandwiches.

Grilled Pimento Cheese And Crispy Bacon Sandwich

8 slices of white bread
1 cup pimento cheese
1/4 cup bacon bits
8 ounces finely shredded cheddar
8 tablespoons of the butter/mayo mix

Take a slice of bread and spread some pimento cheese on it then sprinkle bacon bits and top with a little shredded cheese.  Place another slice of bread on top and then coat it with the butter/mayo mix and place on a preheated griddle with the coated bread down.  While the sandwich is cooking coat the top slice of bread.  Repeat to make four sandwiches.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less
Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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