Perfect to celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day (or just about any day!), this cheese curd grilled cheese with Bacon Onion Marmalade is made with aged white cheddar, cheese curds, bacon and red onion marmalade.
Happy National Grilled Cheese Day! To celebrate (and because how could I possibly let this day go by without indulging in one), I thought I’d made a grilled cheese with cheese curds. Now, cheese curds don’t melt easily, but when they do, they make lovely puddles of cheese, with that great stretchy texture.
My sandwich starts with some great Canadian aged cheddar. The cheddar not only adds great flavour, but works to help keep the cheese curds in place (sort of like cheese glue). On top of the cheddar is a layer of cheese curds, then crispy, salty bacon and to top it off, a generous layer of red onion marmalade.
The red onion marmalade is a breeze to make, and you’ll probably have some left over to use for other things. It keeps well in the fridge for a couple of weeks! Beyond that, start with a really nice crusty bread and be sure to cook this one low and slow.
Cook’s Notes for Cheese Curd Grilled Cheese with Bacon Onion Marmalade
You can make the red onion marmalade well ahead and refrigerate, but bring to room temperature before using. Speaking of room temperature, be sure your cheddar and curds are at room temperature as well, so they will melt more easily.
I tossed a couple of cranberries in with my red onion marmalade for this sandwich. Just a few, but it added a lovely tart note. A bit of tart apple (like Granny Smith) would also be nice.
If you don’t have a microwave and want to add a melty boost to your sandwich, you can place on a baking sheet after it comes off the skillet, and pop in to a 400° F. oven for a few minutes.
This red onion marmalade recipe is really good! I make it often. If it’s something that you like, you may want to double the recipe and make more to store in the fridge for other uses. It’s great with grilled meat, on top of cheese with crackers or on sandwiches.
Cheese Curd Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Onion Marmalade
Red Onion Marmalade:
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp. butter
- 1 large red onion halved and thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- 8 slices Bacon, cooked (2 slices per sandwich)
- Cheese curds at room temperature!
- Grated white aged cheddar at room temperature!
- Crusty bread cut in to thick slices
- Butter at room temperature
Red Onion Marmalade: Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the onions and stir to coat with oil. Cook until slightly softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining onions and stir to combine Cook, stirring often, until onions are softened, about 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with thyme. Stir in wine and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until onions are very tender and wine has evaporated. Add honey and balsamic vinegar and cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until any remaining liquid and evaporated and onions are dark and sticky. Let cool to room temperature and use immediately, or store in a covered jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. (Makes 1 cup)
Cook bacon to crisp and set on to a paper towel. Cut bread slices and grate cheese. Heat large skillet over medium-low heat. Butter outside of bread slices. Carefully place a piece of bread buttered side down on top of a butter-knife blade (stops the butter from sticking to the surface and makes it easier to move to the skillet). Add a layer of grated cheddar. Top with a layer of cheese curds. Place a couple of slices of the bacon on top, then finish with a generous layer of red onion marmalade. Top with other slice of bread, buttered side up. Repeat with more sandwiches, as needed. Transfer to warm skillet and cook on both sides until deep golden brown.
(Note: cheese curds don't melt easily. Always start with room temperature curds and you can aid the process by placing a baking sheet over the top of the skillet to cover for a bit, to build up the heat in the skillet and aid the melting. If all else fails, after your sandwich is golden, place sandwich on a plate and microwave for 20-30 seconds, or until curds melt. Don't worry, it will still be crispy!)