Hi everybody, welcome to a new week!
First thing’s first, I apologize if you were unable to access the site this weekend to get a recipe or check in. It took a bit longer to start showing up on the new server than anticipated then, to top it all off, the new server had its own outage yesterday. Blarg! Hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come, but so far I’m really happy with the switch. The site feels lightening fast to me, which, as the-most-impatient-person-in-the-world, I appreciate. : ) Please do let me know if you continue to experience any funkiness though!
The rest of the weekend went fast, don’t ya think?! Baby class (or rather birth-prep class) on Saturday was actually pretty great. (You never know how those things will go…) I feel like I’ve been existing in my own little pregnant bubble for the past 7 months so it was neat to be in a room full of other pregnant women, but strange at the same time because I was one of the least far long. Made me feel like maybe my back doesn’t hurt quite that bad.
Ok, it still does. Ben’s been doing nightly pushups to keep up with my massage demands – muwahaha!
Anyway, yesterday was a work day for me, but I took some time to whip up this mouthwatering Monterey Chicken Grilled Cheese for Ben and me for lunch:
Decadent and drool-worthy, this sandwich is definitely a splurge, but super good for the soul. I just HEART the combo of chicken, bacon, BBQ sauce, and cheddar cheese grilled up on crusty, hearty bread. I was full for hours after eating this baby!
I’m entering the sandwich in the 2013 Grilled Cheese Academy’s Recipe Showdown to hopefully win some sweet cookware prizes. (Psst, you can too – submissions are open until 5/12/13!) While the combo isn’t rocket science, I liked the fact that I had all the ingredients in the house, it was quick to put together, and ermahgerd look at that melted cheeeese!
Start the Monterey Chicken Grilled Cheese by cookin’ up some bacon! If I have the time I prefer to bake my bacon, as it renders a crispy yet melt-in-your-mouth texture, not to mention slowly fills the house with that unmistakable, mouthwatering scent. It actually got Ben out of bed on Sunday morning to come investigate – baHA! Anyway, place 8 slices of bacon on a nonstick sprayed cooling rack set atop a foil-lined baking sheet then pop into the oven, turn the heat to 425, and then bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through. Best bacon you’ll ever have.
Next get 1lb chicken breasts cookin’ any way you like. Grill, saute, or bake, which is the route I took. Just brush the chicken breasts with extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes, then slice.
Most moist (moistest?) chicken you’ll ever have!
Once you get the bacon and chicken prepped, setup your sandwich assembly station and get to stackin’.
First, brush or mist 8 hearty bread slices on one side with extra virgin olive oil. I use this oil mister from Williams & Sonoma which I bought a few years ago. It’s great for getting an even coating of oil without having to pour it on.
Next, flip the bread so the oil side is facing down then layer on a few slices of chicken, then a few slices of fresh tomato.
Followed by 2 slices cooked bacon, and a slathering of your favorite BBQ sauce.
Finally, pile on freshly shredded cheddar cheese. One of Ben’s and my favorite restaurans in the area does this on one of their signature cheeseburgers instead of using sliced cheddar cheese. It makes ALL the melty difference in the world. Just make sure it’s freshly grated vs pre-grated for best results.
Pop the sandwiches in a panini press (I use the Griddler >) or cook in a pan until both sides are golden brown.
Let the sandwich rest for 2 or 3 minutes then slice ‘er up, and dig on in!
Monterey Chicken Grilled Cheese
1lb chicken breasts, pounded thin
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
8 slices hearty Italian bread
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
8 slices cooked bacon
Cheddar cheese, sliced or shredded
- Brush chicken breasts with extra virgin olive oil on both sides then season with salt and pepper. Grill, saute, or bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Cool slightly then cut into thick slices.
- Brush or mist one side of each piece of bread with extra virgin olive oil then turn so oiled-side is facing out. Lay chicken slices on half the bread then top with tomato slices, 2 slices of bacon, BBQ sauce, and then cheese. Top with remaining bread slices then cook in a large skillet or panini press until both sides are golden brown.
Sizzling, savory, smoky, with a hint of sweet. This sandwich is the ultimate grilled cheese.
Hope you enjoy this treat! : )