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For the the love of sugar, happiness and serendipitous occasions.

Land O’Lakes Grilled Cheese, Two Ways

I bet if you went out and polled 100 people you’d be hard pressed to find more than a handful that don’t love grilled cheese. It’s something many of us fell in love with as children, and still indulge in from time to time as adults. If you’re like me, your grilled cheese tastes have evolved over time – now a basic white bread grilled cheese sandwich isn’t as exciting as a more gourmet creation, featuring specialty cheeses and exciting add-ins. I don’t make grilled cheeses on a regular basis, but every once in a while I get a hankering for one, and it can’t be satisfied by anything less.

When I was given the opportunity to pair up with Land O’Lakes for 30 days of Grilled Cheese, you can imagine my excitement. I’ve worked with Land O’Lakes before for a couple of other cheese-y events, and they are always so delicious – not to mention really fun!

Land O Lakes 30 Days of Grilled Cheese

This time the challenge was to create an original recipe using their American Cheese or 4 Cheese Italian Blend – both slicing cheeses you can find in the deli section at your local supermarket. Having worked with their 4 cheese blend before, I opted for that – it’s tasty stuff!

Pancetta Grilled Cheese

I thought through different ideas for days before settling on my recipes – two very different sandwiches built from the same core ingredients. For both sandwiches I used multigrain bread, pancetta and arugula. The first rendition was a play on sweet and salty – homemade fig jam, Land O Lakes® 4 Cheese Italian Blend, pancetta and arugula. This sandwich was my favorite – the absolute perfect balance of flavors and textures, and perfectly paired sweet and salty notes. I made it on a wheat boule, which has a wonderfully tender texture that toasted up nice and golden and crispy, and held all of the sandwich components together. Kevin and I polished these off in an alarmingly short amount of time.

Pancetta Grilled Cheese

Pancetta Grilled Cheese

Pancetta Grilled Cheese

Pancetta Grilled Cheese

Next, I made a breakfast grilled cheese of sorts. I started with a multigrain wheat bread, added a swipe of whole grain dijonaise, and then layered oven-roasted tomatoes, pancetta, arugula, an over-easy egg and a few slices of Land O Lakes® 4 Cheese Italian Blend. It was a monster of a sandwich with so many flavors and textures going on. My personal favorite was the perfectly cooked over-easy egg that oozed golden-yellow yolk all over the sandwich, giving it a luxurious “sauce”. So. Good.

Pancetta Grilled Cheese

Pancetta Grilled Cheese

Pancetta Grilled Cheese

The beauty of a grilled cheese, besides the delicious taste and wide array of options, is that you can always make it personal to you – add some extra cheese if you feel like it, or an additional slice of pancetta. As such, I’ve provided a guideline recipe below to help you get started – but feel free to play around with it to make it your own!

Sweet and Salty Pancetta Fig Grilled Cheese (serves 2)
Ingredients
4 slices of wheat or multigrain bread
4 slices Land O Lakes® 4 Cheese Italian Blend
2 thick-cut slices of pancetta
2 tablespoons fig jam, homemade or store-bought
Handful of arugula

Directions
Before you begin, make sure to have all of your ingredients ready, as this recipe moves along swiftly.

Line a plate with paper towels, and heat a nonstick pan over medium. Once pan is hot, add pancetta slices and cook until crispy. Transfer to paper-lined plate when cooked, and set aside until ready to use.

Lay out all four slices of bread. Divide cheese evenly onto two slices of bread, and divide the fig jam evenly onto the other two slices of bread.

You’ll use the same pan to make your grilled cheese sandwiches that you used to cook your pancetta. Drain off some of the pancetta fat, until there is just a small amount left – enough to lightly coat the exterior of your bread. Keeping the pan over medium heat, carefully transfer the prepared slices of bread to the pan, and cook over medium until the cheese begins to melt, and the undersides of each piece of bread are golden.

Once the cheese is starting to melt, add one piece of pancetta to the slices of bread with cheese on them, and then add a handful of arugula on top of that. Carefully place the jam-covered slice of bread on top of the arugula, and gently press together.

Slice, and serve warm!

 

Breakfast Grilled Cheese (serves 2)
Ingredients
4 slices of wheat or multigrain bread
4 slices Land O Lakes® 4 Cheese Italian Blend
2 thick-cut slices of pancetta
4 oven-roasted tomato halves
2 eggs
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons dijonaise (store bought, or 1 tbsp Dijon mixed with 1 tbsp mayo)
Handful of arugula

Directions
Line a plate with paper towels, and heat a nonstick pan over medium. Once pan is hot, add pancetta slices and cook until crispy. Transfer to paper-lined plate when cooked, and set aside until ready to use.

Lay out all four slices of bread. Divide cheese evenly onto two slices of bread, and divide the dijonaise onto the other two slices of bread.

In the same pan that you cooked the pancetta, you’ll cook your eggs.  Drain a bit of the pancetta fat so just a small coating remains in the pan. Over medium heat, crack the eggs into the pan, and cook for 3-4 minutes on one side before flipping. You can cook your egg however you like it, but I cooked mine until just over easy – about a minute or two on the second side. Once your eggs are cooked, remove from a pan and set aside until ready to use.

You’ll use the same pan to make your grilled cheese sandwiches that you used to cook your pancetta. Add a tablespoon of butter and swirl to coat the bottom. Keeping the pan over medium heat, carefully transfer the prepared slices of bread to the pan, and cook over medium until the cheese begins to melt, and the undersides of each piece of bread are golden.

Once the cheese starts to melt, add one piece of pancetta and two tomato halves to the slices of bread with cheese on them, and then add a handful of arugula on top of that.  The over-easy egg goes on last, followed by the dijonaise-covered slice of bread on top. Press together gently so that the ingredients can meld together.

Slice, and serve warm!

 


A bit more information from Land O’Lakes:

Land O Lakes® 4 Cheese Italian Blend is the best combination of the most flavorful Italian cheeses—Asiago, Parmesan and Romano—blended with the creamy goodness of Land O Lakes® Deli American Cheese. Add this delicious cheese to everything from favorite dishes to sandwiches or burgers hot off the grill. The creamy taste truly makes each dish an everyday masterpiece.

Land O’Lakes has produced a variety of top-quality cheese products, from farm to table, for over 90 years. Land O’Lakes is a farmer-owned cooperative, consisting of independent farms, large and small. These farmers take pride in providing the best ingredients to go into all Land O’Lakes cheese products.

Pin a Meal. Give a Meal. Throughout April until May 1, Land O’Lakes will donate $1 to Feeding America every time someone pins or repins a Land O’Lakes recipe on Pinterest. That’s eight meals for a hungry family when you pin a recipe—and eight more every time anyone else repins it. Giving goes viral. Find your favorite Grilled Cheese recipe to pin on landolakes.com.

*Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Land O’Lakes as part of the Kitchen Sidecar series. As always, all opinions expressed here are my own.


  • http://megan-deliciousdishings.blogspot.com/ Megan

    Pancetta and fig sounds like a great pairing for that cheese. I did speck and roasted tomatoes, so it looks like we were both on the salty-sweet track! And the breakfast grilled cheese looks ridiculous! In a good way!