When Bobby Flay went up against The Pop Shop on a grilled cheese-themed episode of Throwdown! it seemed like the New Jersey soda fountain with a menu featuring 31 varieties of grilled cheese would have the advantage for sure. But with a sandwich like the grilled cheese that can be manipulated with seemingly endless combinations of cheese, bread, and fillings, the odds evened out.
While both teams chose to include bacon in their grilled cheese variations, Flay's über-rich pairing of Brie and goat cheese finished with tart green tomatoes and crisp bacon on simple Pullman toast led him to victory. It might not have been the classic American cheese on white bread that Flay grew up on, but it was enough for the judges to award Flay the title of grilled cheese Throwdown! champion.
- 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices center-cut bacon
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 8 (1-inch-thick) slices Pullman bread
- 12 ounces really good Brie, thinly sliced with a serrated knife
- 2 green tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 8 ounces soft goat cheese, such as Bûcheron, cut into 8 slices
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the bacon in a large skillet or on a griddle and cook, flipping it once, over medium heat until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Break each piece in half and set aside.
Heat a cast-iron griddle or cast-iron pan over medium heat.
Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. Flip over 4 slices of the bread slices and layer each with 3 to 4 slices of Brie, 2 green tomato slices, 2 slices of goat cheese, and 4 slices of the bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Place the remaining bread slices on top, butter side up, and cook on the griddle until the bottom is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the sandwich over, cover with a heatproof bowl (to melt the cheese), and continue cooking until the bottom is golden brown and the Brie has melted, 3 to 4 minutes.