Grilled Smoked Cheddar with Ham, Spiced Pear, Bacon Compote & Maple Butter

Makes 4 Sandwiches.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium pears, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 6 Tbsp. maple syrup, divided
  • 6 Tbsp. apple cider
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 slices of thick hickory-smoked bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 thick slices potato bread
  • Great Midwest® Naturally Smoked Cheddar cheese, sliced
  • 12 thick slices deli-style smoked honey ham

Instructions:

Place pears, 5 tablespoons of maple syrup, apple cider and cayenne pepper in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook stirring frequently until the pears are soft and most of the liquid is gone. Mash. Stir in bacon crumbles . Keep warm and set aside.

Mix remaining 1 tablespoonsof maple syrup with softened butter.

Heat griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spread maple butter evenly on 1 side of each bread slice. Place 4 slices buttered-side down on griddle and layer with 1/2 of the cheese, 1/4 of the pear/bacon compote, ham and remaining cheese. Top with 4 bread slices buttered-side up. Place sandwiches on heated griddle. Grill 3-4 minutes or until bread is golden brown and cheese begins to melt. Flip and cook until bottom is brown. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.

Slice in half and serve immediately.

2013 Great Midwest® “I ♥ Grilled Cheese” recipe contest finalist - entry courtesy of Donna Beck