This grilled cheese sandwich is filled with flavor, from the savory bacon to the creamy funky stilton cheese to the earthy sweetness of medjool dates. (In the test kitchen, we used Natural Delights medjool dates.) Bacon wrapped dates, stuffed with blue cheese, a.k.a. 'devils on horseback', is a classic bar snack. Letting these ingredients meld together inside toasty slices of sourdough bread is truly a winning idea. The arugula adds a hint of peppery crispness, and the fresh fruit flavor of the dates balances out the salty rich taste of the bacon and stilton. —Josh Cohen
slices thick cut bacon
slices rustic sourdough bread
Stilton blue cheese (enough cheese to thinly cover both slices of bread)
Set your oven to 325°F. Lay the bacon on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Cook the bacon in the oven until it looks golden and slightly crispy around the edges. When the bacon looks ready, remove it from the oven and set it aside.
When the bacon is cool enough to handle, you can assemble the sandwich. Take one piece of bread, and add enough blue cheese to thinly coven the entire slice. Next, add a layer of dates, followed by the bacon. Top with a handful of arugula. You will now have what appears to be an open faced sandwich.
Take your other piece of bread, and add enough blue cheese to thinly cover the entire slice. Carefully take this slice of bread and fold it on top of the other half of your sandwich. If some of the cheese falls out, just stuff it back in.
Set a small skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Maneuver the skillet so that melted butter has coated the entire skillet. When the butter begins to bubble and sizzle, place your sandwich inside the skillet. Cook, undisturbed, until the bottom piece of bread is golden and crispy. Flip the sandwich. If the skillet looks a little dry, add another tablespoon of butter. When both sides of the grilled cheese look golden and toasty, and the cheese looks melty, remove the grilled cheese from the skillet. Serve and enjoy.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, I’m perpetually inspired by the diversity of foods that exist in this city. I love shopping at the farmer’s market, making ingredients taste like the best versions of themselves, and rolling fresh pasta. I learned how to make fresh pasta in Italy, where I spent the first 6 months of my career as a chef. I've been cooking professionally in New York City since 2010.