First rule of Southern cooking: Save. The. Bacon. Grease. (And the second rule is the same as the first.)
You don’t need to use a ton of it when you’re sautéing, but the depth of smoky flavor it gives is one-of-a-kind. That’s precisely what happens when you use bacon grease to cook the mushrooms for this irresistible sandwich! Crispy bacon and earthy mushrooms make the perfect complements for the melty cheddar cheese in this savory delight!
Bacon Mushroom Melts
12 oz sliced bacon, cut in half
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
8 slices bread (I prefer sourdough, but feel free to use your favorite)
1/4 cup butter (or as needed), room-temperature
1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar
Put the bacon in a single layer on a sauté pan, then put the pan on medium-low heat. Cook, flipping occasionally, until the bacon reaches your desired level of crispiness. Remove the bacon to a plate, and drain out all but 1 TBSP of the bacon grease into a jar. (Save that for later!) Turn up the heat to medium, and toss in the mushrooms. Cook until browned, then remove the pan from the heat.
Put a griddle or another sauté pan on medium-low heat. Spread the butter evenly on one side of each of the bread slices; take 4 of the slices, portion out the cheese, bacon and mushrooms evenly on them, then top with the remaining bread. Put the sandwich on the griddle for 3-4 minutes per side, cooking until evenly golden brown. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 sandwiches.