At the start of April, the 2014 Grilled Cheese Recipe Showdown called for the very best grilled cheese recipes from across the country to be entered into a contest. The response was fantastic: the entries reached into the thousands, making this year the largest pool of recipes to date. After reviewing the delicious recipes and taste-testing the best of the best, the Grilled Cheese Academy – along with leading blogger guest judges Heidi Larsen, Paula Jones and MacKenzie Smith – has selected three winners and three judges’ choice picks for 2014.
BEST IN SHOW
The Limburger Leap
It’s official. Title Town now has a grilled cheese sandwich that would make Curly Lambeau’s toes curl. Always ready for a tailgate, The Limburger Leap is stacked high with beer brats and beer-caramelized onions perfectly paired with Wisconsin limburger and baby swiss.
By: Laurel Ziemienski of Kenosha, Wisconsin Are French fries French? Doesn’t matter. Because The Monsieur holds nothing back when it comes to all things flavor. It features crispy duck fat fries happily mingling with Wisconsin parmesan, brie, gouda, and cheese curds. Did we mention the eight thick-cut slices of cherrywood-smoked bacon? Bon appétit.
By: Matthew Alcott of Whitefish, Montana Ooh la la. This tongue tantalizing temptress is the true definition of delicious. With Wisconsin brie, brown sugar roasted pork belly, candied walnuts, and Bosc pears on French sourdough bread generously smothered in onion and fig spread, there’s truly a lot to desire.
Chosen by Heidi Larsen of Foodie Crush:
By: Paula Begley of Townsend, Tennessee “This Dixie sandwich had everything a grilled cheese lover craves, but mainly a healthy dose of deliciously flavored Wisconsin cheese! The melted gooeyness played perfectly with the subtle crunch of the fried green tomato and smoky bacon flavors. This sandwich had all the ingredients for a showdown winner.” With a wink and a nod to traditional Southern comfort food, The Dixie aims to please. So much so that it boasts not one or two, but three Wisconsin Cheeses — sharp cheddar, sharp white cheddar, and cream cheese. Add bacon and a fried green tomato on a crispy baguette and you have yourself grilled cheese perfection. Chosen by MacKenzie Smith of Grilled Cheese Social:
By: Alice Choi of Waunakee, Wisconsin “The Madisonian is my favorite because not only was it totally delicious, but to me it really captures the essence of Wisconsin. Every part of this sandwich adds so much flavor and, together, the ingredients work brilliantly. The cheesy bread is one of Wisconsin’s star creations, and it works so beautifully with the bratwurst and the mac’ n’ cheese (a genius addition to any grilled cheese in my book!). I seriously love everything about this sandwich!!” Yes, Madison, Wisconsin has a lot to offer — including a grilled cheese sandwich that combines all of the city’s unique flavors and flair. The Madisonian is a delicious ensemble of Wisconsin cheddar, bratwurst, sauerkraut and Dijon mustard on hot and spicy cheese bread. We’re sure your taste buds will enjoy their visit. Chosen by Paula Jones of Bell’alimento:
By: Sarah Leung of Chester, New Jersey “I chose The Siesta as my judges’ choice sandwich because of its big, bold Mexican-inspired flavors and textures. It brings the flavors of Mexican cuisine to an American cheesy classic treat. What’s not to love about that?” Nothing can wake up your taste buds quite like The Siesta. A heavenly combination of cinnamon and chile-spiced carnitas, cilantro-lime cabbage slaw and Wisconsin aged cheddar and swiss, this Mexican-inspired grilled cheese sandwich is an amazing combination of flavors and textures.