Grilled cheese with sharp cheddar, fresh sweet figs, and spicy hot honey is an easy gourmet recipe. A perfect combo of sweet and spicy between toasted sourdough. No matter what age you are, there is nothing more comforting than a good old grilled cheese sandwich. Something about the warm grilled buttered bread with gooey melted cheese that just screams comfort food. You do not need to go to a restaurant to have a fancy grilled cheese with quality ingredients when it is easy to make at home.
I am sure we all grew up with the white bread and Kraft singles cheese version as a kid. However as we all start to mature, so does our love for good quality food and that is why grilled cheese has evolved into so many different gourmet versions over the years. This recipe is one of the thousand varieties of grilled cheese that can be made and I promise you, you will be happy you found this tasty recipe and enjoyed it. It has come a long way from the original grilled cheese. If you wonder who invented the grilled cheese sandwich, find out here at one of my favorite sites – HOW STUFF WORKS – GRILLED CHEESE EDITION.
Ingredients for the Best Grilled Cheese
For this unique recipe, you will only need a few ingredients to make an outstanding grilled cheese sandwich. It starts off with great bread to ensure the toasted or griddled sandwich has the best crispy crust. Then add medium or sharp cheddar cheese. As a friend says, “Life is too short for mild cheddar!” I love this and could not agree more. Finally, the ingredients that put this sandwich over the top is the combination of fresh sweet figs along with sweet and spicy hot honey.
You will need my HOT HONEY RECIPE to spread or drizzle so make sure you have a batch of this ready. It only takes about a half-hour to infuse the honey with the spicy Fresno chili and is the condiment that makes this grilled cheese sandwich to die for. My hot honey recipe is amazing on more than just this so you want to make it and have it around to dip or drizzle on pizza, chicken, shrimp, biscuits, cornbread, and more. You are welcome!
Best Bread to Use for Grilled Cheese
Toasted sourdough holds together this recipe for the most amazing combination of a sweet and spicy grilled cheese sandwich. I recommend sourdough for this grilled cheese recipe since it is sturdy enough to hold loads of gooey cheddar cheese and the fresh plump figs. However, if you prefer whole wheat or white bread, that can work too. You can also use your favorite low-carb bread from Aldi’s, Costco, or other grocery stores. All the bread options will work and is what makes this recipe great and customizable.
How to Make the Best Gourmet Grilled Cheese
Start by assembling each sandwich using two slices of bread, 4 slices of cheddar, and 2-3 figs cut in half. See below on how this will look. I could have fit another fig but these were plump figs and as the sandwich cooked down and I pressed it, the fig will flatten and spread a bit. They will then cover most of the sandwich inner surface at that point.
If you want your grilled cheese extra spicy, you can also spread the hot honey on one of the inside slices of bread before you place the cheese on. This is fantastic but may not be for everyone if you just want some mild heat.
Butter both of the outsides of the bread and place on a heated flat griddle pan. You could also use a panini press to make this. I have heard recently a lot about using mayonnaise instead of butter on grilled cheese, well if you now anyt8ing about me, you know I will never ever condone that. Mayo is not my friend and butter is life!
Cook the Grilled Cheese on a Flat Griddle Pan
I like my grilled cheese to be cooked on medium heat. Doing so results in a sandwich that is toasted brown beautifully on the outside at a slow enough rate that the inside has time to melt the cheese and warm the figs. After about 3 minutes on the first side, flip the sandwich over with a spatula. Continue cooking another 3 minutes on the other side.
The grilled cheese sandwich will be done when the cheddar is melted and starting to drip down the outsides of the bread. The sourdough bread will also be golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a cutting board to let it cool a few minutes before cutting into it. If you cut into it right away, a lot of the cheese will ooze out. That is not necessarily a bad thing but let it set a bit and then slice and watch a little bit of gooey cheese drip out. This is grilled cheese perfection – just look at that melty cheddar heaven.
Serve and Top with Hot Honey
Time to plate the sandwich and grab a side dish if you want. I love this with more fruit. Do not forget to drizzle the hot honey on top or put it on the side to dip into it.
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Grilled Cheese with Figs and Hot Honey
- Flat griddle
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- 4-6 fresh figs
- 8 slices medium or sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 TB butter
- Hot Honey recipe link above
- Wash and dry the fresh figs. Cut to remove any remaining stem and slice each in half, vertically.
- Start by assembling each sandwich. Use two slices of bread, 4 slices of cheese, and 2-3 fig halves per sandwich. Assemble so the figs are in the innermost layer between 2 slices of cheese on each side. See the image above.
- If you want hot honey inside the sandwich, you can also spread some on one of the inner sides of a slice of the bread. Bring the sandwich layers together. Butter both of the outsides of the bread and place on a heated flat griddle pan.
- Use medium-heat and a flat griddle pan to cook the sandwiches. Cook for 3 minutes each side, using a spatula to flip it over after the first side is done and golden brown.
- Transfer to a cutting board to rest about a minute. This allows the cheese to set so it does not ooze out as soon as you try and cut it.
- Cut each sandwich in half and put on a plate. Drizzle with hot honey or put it on the side as a dip. Enjoy!
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