Apple-Cheddar Grilled Cheese Au Poivre

As featured in blog post #3: Black Pepper, The King of Spice.


If you are craving a sandwich to pair with hard cider or an autumnal brew than look no further.  This flavor-packed grilled cheese will satisfy your taste buds and keep you satiated for hours.  I serve the horseradish on the side, as it may overpower the pepper too much is spread on.  Experiment with different cheeses, find your favorite, and share the discovery in comments below. 


Apple Cheddar Grilled Cheese Au Poivre


  • 2 slices of big, round, crusty, whole wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper, course grind
  • 3/4 cup sharp cheddar, grated
  • 2 slices provolone
  • 1/4 of an apple, thinly sliced (I recommend something crisp and sweet, a la Gala)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 cup arugula, to serve
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish cream sauce, to serve

yields one giant-ass delicious sandwich

Spread the coarsely ground peppercorns onto a plate in an even layer.  Put a large skillet over low heat and melt olive oil and butter.   This next step is the fun part, or as I call it, the “poivre-ing.”  Figure out which sides of the bread will be the outsides of the sandwich, and then dip these sides in the melted fat (make sure to really coat it).  Take these now-soaked slices and dip them fat-side down in the peppercorns.  Press FIRMLY to make sure the pepper adheres.  Return the poivre-ed bread to the skillet, pepper side down, and start piling on fillings.  For best melting i suggest putting 1/4cup of cheddar on one slice, followed by provolone, apple, onion, and salt to taste.  Then sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar on the other slice.  If your bread is thick you may want to put a lid on the skillet to let the steam melt the cheese faster, as the bread blocks heat.  After about 5 minutes on low heat put cheddar only slice onto the apple/onion slice and press down with a spatula.  Toast a little longer or until it is as crispy as you like and remove from pan.  Cut in half and serve on top of arugula with a side or horseradish sauce for dipping.


Bonus “I only have little, thin, sad, store-bought bread” version:

  • Don’t panic, this can be resolved.  The amounts listed above should actually yield 2 sandwiches if using smaller, thinner bread.  This is because the pepper will be too powerful without enough pan et fromage (that means bread and cheese in french. #cultured).  So either reduce the amounts by half or make a sandwich for a friend


Want to print this for all your besties? Of course you do! Click the link for an easy to print one-page pdf file: Apple Cheddar Grilled Cheese Au Poivre


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