Truffle. Grilled. Cheese. Those three words alone are enough to make our mouths water. One of our all-time favorite comfort foods gets a luxurious upgrade with the help of truffled cheese, bacon, and chives in Grilled Cheese Kitchen ($13; amazon.com), a collection of ooey-gooey recipes from Heidi Gibson and her husband Nate Pollak, owners of San Francisco-based restaurant The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. “The best part is that the truffled cheese browns and crisps in the holes of the bread as it cooks on the griddle; the effect is amazing,” writes Gibson. “Be patient and don’t move the sandwich around the pan while it’s cooking. Once you taste that crusty cheese, you’ll know what I mean.” Oh man. Try the recipe below.
Truffled Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Chives
Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as an appetizer
1 tbsp salted butter, at room temperature
4 slices ciabatta
4 slices Boschetto al Tartufo or other semisoft truffled cheese
4 strips thick-sliced bacon, cooked until crisp and drained
2 tbsp crème fraîche
1 tsp truffle oil
6 fresh chives, minced
1. Heat a cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-low heat
2. Spread the butter on one side of each bread slice, dividing it evenly. Place two slices, buttered side down, on a clean cutting board. Layer one slice of the Boschetto al Tartufo, two strips of the bacon, and then a second slice of the cheese on top of each. Finish with the remaining slices of bread, buttered side up.
3. Using a wide spatula, place both sandwiches in the pan, cover, and cook until the bottoms are nicely browned, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until the cheese melts through the holes of the ciabatta on the bottoms and is lightly browned, about 2 minutes longer.
4. Cut each sandwich in half for an entrée, or into quarters for an appetizer. Top each piece with a dollop of crème fraîche, a drizzle of truffle oil, and a sprinkle of chives and serve immediately.