Grilled Cheese Recipe Contest Winner | The Daily Dish

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Grilled Cheese Recipe Contest Winner

4 Comments | Written on March 13, 2012 at 5:00 am , by

When you hear “Bon Appetit, Y’all!” you know it is time for a fantastic meal from our latest winner, Mary Louise Lever.  Her recipe for “Southern Style Sweet ‘n Sassy Bacon and Gruyere Cheese Panini” earned top honors from our judges in the recent “Grilled Cheese” contest.

Mary Louise says, “What a thrill it is to win this contest with my Panini!  My Mother  taught me to use ingredients on hand and add an element of surprise to a dish.  I continue to use this culinary concept.  Being from the South, I enjoy adding ingredients that are indigenous to my heritage and pepper jelly and bacon rank high on my list of flavorful and readily available ingredients!  To the food police – I say, everything in moderation! 

Although I make my own pepper jelly (of course), I also use the recommended brand in my recipe which is almost as tasty as mine.  As a time saver, I use the purchased bacon crumbles which are delicious – but sometimes I lament not having the pan-cooked bacon with its added bonus of savory bacon drippings to add to some my recipes!  My tasters said that adding the artisan Gruyere cheese to the Panini elevated it to “gourmet” with my Southern touches!  My  Mom would be so proud too!”

SOUTHERN STYLE SWEET ‘N SASSY BACON & GRUYERE CHEESE PANINI  (click here to view and print recipe)

3 Tbsp Spicy Red Pepper Jelly

1/3 cup Purchased Real Crumbled Bacon or Can Make Own

8 slices Hearty Country-style Sandwich Bread

4 slices Deli-cut Gruyere Cheese

1/4 cup Softened Butter, as needed

Powdered Sugar

Extra Pepper Jelly


Combine pepper jelly and bacon in small dish; set aside.

Lay bread slices onto wax paper. Spread each slice with divided pepper jelly mixture. Top 4 slices of bread with cheese and cover, face-down with remaining slices, pressing slightly. Brush outsides of each with butter.

Place on heated Panini press and cook until golden and crisp. Repeat process as needed.

If desired, place on wire rack in low-heat oven to keep warm.

To serve,slice diagonally and place on 4 individual plates. Dust each with powdered sugar. Serve with extra pepper jelly if desired.

I would also like to extend a round of applause to our “Reader’s Choice Winner” Allison Luxenberg also known as “PackOf3” here on Better Recipes.  Her recipe for “Sweet Blue Pig Grilled Cheese” received the highest number of votes during Grilled Cheese week.  Thanks so much for your votes!

4 Responses to “Grilled Cheese Recipe Contest Winner”

  • 1
    Merry Graham says:

    Mary Louise ~ you make me hungry!!! I am so happy you won!!!!

  • 2
    Ray Irwin says:

    Congratulations!! It is 1pm, I have not had lunch and am lamenting the fact that I do not have, on hand, any bacon! But——I’m going to get some soon and make this wonderful recipe. My husband will be delighted! ML, I still have great memories of the lobster grilled cheese we had on one of our adventures. Let’s go again soon! Love to you! R

  • 3
    loannechiu says:

    This looks so appetizing, a real winner! Congratulations!

  • 4
    jacqueline says:

    This looks soooo delicious!! But don’t call it ‘panini’ pls!! Panini is rolls. Not sliced bread, This would be even better with a real panina of crunchy maltese bread! Mmmmm! Being mediteranean, I have to point this out. 🙂

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