This grilled cheese in Tenaya Darlington's new cheese cookbook was the creation of a longtime cheesemonger at Di Bruno Bros. Stacked high with salty bacon, earthy-sweet Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, and a fried egg—it's certainly not for the faint of heart. These show-off ingredients may catch your eye first, but it's the thinly sliced red onions and schmear of maple jelly (or syrup) that bring the sandwich into delicate balance, transforming it from a hung over mistake to a comforting lunch I'd easily make again.
Why I picked this recipe: Can't skip grilled cheese when cooking from a cheese book, and any sandwich with Cabot Clothbound Cheddar is sure to be a winner.
What worked: This sandwich hits each tantalizing sweet, salty, and fatty flavor note with gusto.
What didn't: No problems here.
Suggested tweaks: If you're cooking bacon for the express purpose of making this sandwich, you might as well take advantage of all of that bacon fat in the pan and use it to fry the grilled cheese. (Why use butter when you've got pork fat on hand?) I couldn't get my hands on maple jelly, but maple syrup worked just fine. The fried egg on top is awesome but not necessary; if you're not up for it, the sandwich is still great without it.
About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American and Berkeleyside NOSH, and she blogs at cookingwolves.wordpress.com.