Thursday, February 13, 2014

Mini Grilled Cheese with Jalapeno Apricot Relish | Friday Night Bites

Last weekend I was invited by Tillamook Cheese and Soda PopPR to attend a Farmstyle Brunch at The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen in San Francisco’s mission district.  I love a great grilled cheese sandwich and have long admired the Tillamook brand, so it was a no brainer – I needed to attend.  Who knew Tillamook made more than their famous medium cheddar cheese?  Well they do. In addition to cheese, they make ice cream, butter, sour cream, yogurt and their latest product launch is for their Greek style yogurt.  By the way, it is different than the typical Greek yogurt and quite frankly I am now hooked on it.  I will have a detailed post highlighting the brunch and yogurt coming in about a week.

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In the meantime, I had to run out and buy their famous cheddar cheese to make a grilled cheese sandwich after our scrumptious and indulgent brunch.  The America Grilled Cheese Kitchen doesn’t make the run of the mill grilled cheese with white bread and processed American cheese – oh no – these are gourmet delights that will leave you wanting to return the next day.  Check out their website for the vast spread of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.  During our brunch we had our choice of breakfast sandwiches we wanted to have made to order.  I chose the “Breakfast Popper” which has Jalapeno Relish, Zoe’s Bacon, Chevre, Tillamook Monterey Jack and a over easy egg on artisan bread.  The first bite transported me to grilled cheese heaven and then I stayed in that happy place until it was all gone.

The sandwich was the inspiration for this week’s Friday Night Bites.  I decided to go miniature but make that divine Jalapeno Relish and top each sandwich with Applewood Smoked Bacon and fresh Arugula.  Honestly, in the last week, hubby and I have had these little bites three times – they are that GOOD!  The recipe is simple and a complete crowd pleaser.  It would go terrific with a chilled beer or a nice crisp Chardonnay.  As the folks from Tillamook tweeted to me prior to the brunch – “Cheddar come hungry” – I guarantee you will not be hungry after several of these mini delights. 

Mini Grilled Cheese with Jalapeno Apricot Relish

1 Baguette
Tillamook Medium Cheddar
Applewood Smoked Bacon, crispy
Jalapeno Apricot Relish (Recipe below)

Determine the number of sandwiches you want to make.  Cut each slice about ¼ inches thick. You will use half of slice of cooked bacon per sandwich.  You will use 1 to 2 slices of cheddar cheese per sandwich.

Butter each side of the sliced baguette.  Place the cheese on the non buttered side and place the two slices together.  Cook on medium heat until golden brown on each side and cheese is melted.  Remove sandwiches and put about a heaping teaspoon of relish on each one, a half of slice of cooked bacon and a few sprigs of Arugula.  Enjoy.

Jalapeno Apricot Relish

8 oz. Dried Apricots, fine dice
6 Tablespoons white onion, fine dice
3 Large Jalapeno pepper, stems and seeds removed, minced
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Mustard Powder
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, peeled and finely diced
2 ½ Tablespoons Apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients for the Jalapeno Apricot Relish together thoroughly, then cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, preferably over night.

Recipe slightly adapted from here


  1. These are the perfect little bite, I love the jalapeno relish!

  2. Oh my goodness Lisa, what an amazing combination. It's so funny that you ate these 3 times in one week - only because that's exactly what we would do!!

  3. Yay, I'm so glad you recreated these delicious sandwiches! They were delicious (especially the relish) and it was a blast getting to hang out with you for brunch! :)

    1. It was super great to see you! I am still dreaming of that great sandwich!

  4. What a great way to jazz up a grilled cheese! I can think of a dozen things to do with that jalapeno apricot relish alone! Grilled cheese is such a comforting thing to eat. Looking forward to trying these! : )

    1. Thank you for stopping by! When you make it - let me know how everyone likes it!

  5. I wish I didn't have to work on the party that day, would have loved to have tried all those yummies and caught up with you. I can't wait for fresh apricots. Have a great week Lisa, hope to see you soon.

  6. Hi Lisa,

    Wow, those little sandwiches look delicious! Thanks so much for joining Tillamook at The American - I hope I'm able to meet you there myself next time. :)

    All the best,
    Katie, of the Tillamook team

    1. Thank you Katie! It was my pleasure - I appreciate the invitation and look forward to meeting you next time. BTW - the coffee flavored Greek yogurt was my absolute favorite - like have dessert for breakfast!

  7. that's a great, amazing and delicious breakfast sandwiches, natural, fresh and healthy ;)


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