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Kale, crispy bacon upgrades grilled cheese to an adult level
Oct 02

Christopher Kimball's Milk Street

Satisfying, tasty and quick, a grilled cheese is a weeknight staple for a reason. But we use a couple tricks to spruce it up, taking it from an after-school kids' treat to a meal an adult would love.

First, we don't shy away from a bit of cooking before assembling the sandwich, as in this recipe from our book "Cook What You Have," which draws on pantry staples to create easy, weeknight meals. We give grilled cheese a tasty __ and somewhat healthful! __ update by sautéing kale by the handful with caramelized onions to make the bulk of the filling for the sandwich.

Second, when we grill the buttered bread, we press down on the sandwich to make more contact with the pan, which promotes flavorful browning.

A slather of mustard lends tangy contrast to the melty cheese. To add a salty- smoky note, tuck crisp bacon slices inside the sandwiches before cooking them, though it's still delicious without it.

Just be sure to use a hearty sandwich bread that's sturdy enough to contain all the fillings so the sandwich doesn't fall apart when you pull it out of the pan.

Start to finish: 40 minutes

Servings: 4

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 large bunch lacinato kale OR curly kale, stemmed and chopped into rough 1-inch pieces (about 12 cups)

2 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature

8 slices hearty white OR whole-wheat OR rye sandwich bread

4 teaspoons whole-grain mustard OR Dijon mustard

8 slices cheddar OR provolone OR whole-milk mozzarella OR pepper jack cheese

4 slices cooked bacon (optional)

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering.

By The Associated Press, Copyright 2023

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