Some may see grilled cheese sandwiches as the unexciting accompaniment to a tepid bowl of tomato soup, but for brewer Kevin VanBlarcum and chef James Edward “Eddie” Davis, it’s a different story. The duo wrote the book on what makes grilled cheese such a fantastic meal. Seriously, they’re the mad kitchen scientists behind The Grilled Cheese & Beer Cookbook, which pairs inventive grilled cheese sandwiches with beer.
They’ve recently shared with us the recipe for the Johnny Apple Cheese, which is the grilled cheese upgrade you didn’t know you needed. We all know that everything is better with bacon. Period. But pair that salty, savory bacon with the sweet bitterness of a granny smith apple, and the pungent taste of Adirondack cheddar and you’ve got a complex flavor profile.
VanBlarcum and Davis recommend pairing this sandwich with a good European-style lager, which complements the sharpness of the cheddar and the smoky flavor of the bacon. A Heineken or Grolsch both work. If you’re not into beer, the Johnny Apple Cheese also pairs well with cider.
- 2 slices whole grain bread
- 4 slices Adirondack cheddar cheese
- 1 granny smith apple
- 3 strips of bacon
- 1 Grease one side of each slice of bread and place in a pan on medium heat, greased side down.
- 2 Place the cheddar on the bread so that all of the bread is covered.
- 3 Thinly slice the granny smith apple and place it on one slice of bread so the cheese and bread are completely covered.
- 4 Add bacon strips to the other slice of bread and cheese.
- 5 Once the cheese is melted, put the sandwich together.