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Gourmet Grilled Cheese with Date-Bacon Jam

This sandwich doubles up on melty cheese, but the star of the show is the sweet and salty date-bacon jam. It makes for a truly grown-up version of grilled cheese. —Kathy Cooper, Tucson, Arizona
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour + cooling Cook: 5 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 1/2 pound bacon strips, diced
  • 1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 6 ounces pitted dates, chopped
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 round (8 ounces) Brie cheese, rind removed and softened
  • 8 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened


  • In a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Discard all but 2 tablespoons drippings.
  • Add onion to drippings; cook and stir over medium heat until softened. Reduce heat to medium-low;
  • cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is deep golden brown and caramelized, 35-40 minutes, adding garlic during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  • Return bacon to skillet; add next 5 ingredients. Stir well. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool.
  • For sandwiches, combine cheeses, mixing well. Layer 4 slices of bread with cheese mixture and 2 tablespoons date-bacon jam; top with remaining bread. Spread outsides of sandwiches with butter. In a nonstick skillet, toast sandwiches over medium-low heat until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted, 2-3 minutes per side. Cover and refrigerate remaining jam; save for another use.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Go for a rustic, country bread to create a heartier sandwich.
  • The bacon jam freezes beautifully, so why not double it and freeze the leftovers so you can make this sandwich whenever the mood strikes?
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 sandwich: 572 calories, 33g fat (19g saturated fat), 97mg cholesterol, 1015mg sodium, 45g carbohydrate (14g sugars, 3g fiber), 25g protein.

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