Chef Tom – Thank You, Cheeses!

A updated repeat from back when all this craziness started.

Welcome to Grilled Cheese Heaven.

Who doesn’t love grilled cheese sandwiches? Thick artisan bread, lots of melty, yummy, fatty** cheese. Pure comfort food.

Not on anyone’s diet, I know, but SIP has required us to grab comfort for our aching souls in any way we can, right? Perhaps by now, hopefully, as I am writing this on Friday, we can use this All American combo to celebrate our return to The Good Guys being back in charge. If this finds you slinking sadly into your cave, read on anyway, as these recipes will provide brief comfort at least.

I’m including the Abbott for my Costello, the Ginger for my Fred, the Mr. Ed for my Wilbur (all right, that may have aged me a bit). The one thing that goes well with an ooey-gooey grilled cheese is a lovely, creamy, warming bowl of homemade tomato soup.

This one can be done in fifteen minutes!

Trainwreck Grilled Cheese

INGREDIENTS:

8 slices of bacon

1 Tbsp good quality whiskey

2 Tbsp good quality maple syrup

1 Tbsp brown sugar

8 Tbsp salted butter at room temperature, divided

1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup mayo

4 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard

6 oz. good Gouda cheese, grated

8 slices sandwich bread of your preference

INSTRUCTIONS:

TO MAKE THE GLAZED BACON:

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees.

Start by adding the whiskey, the maple syrup and the brown sugar to a medium sized bowl. Whisk everything together until well combined.

Add the bacon and toss it until evenly coated with the maple-whiskey mixture.

Line a baking sheet with foil and place an oven proof baking rack on top.

Lay the bacon on the baking rack in a single layer and bake it for 15 to 20 minutes or until the bacon is cooked and crispy.

Drain the bacon with paper towel and, once cool, cut the bacon slices in half. Reserve.

TO MAKE THE CARAMELIZED ONIONS:

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter on a large skillet. Add the onions and cook, covered, over med-low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the onions are deep brown and caramelized. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.

TO MAKE THE MAYO-DIJON “SAUCE”:

Combine the mayo and the grainy Dijon mustard and mix well using a spoon.

TO ASSEMBLE THE GRILLED CHEESE:

Lay the bread slices on a board.

On 4 of them, spread each with 1/2 tablespoon of butter. On the other 4, spread some of the Mayo-Dijon sauce.

Add the grated cheese to the buttered slices. On top of that, pile the bacon and the caramelized onions. Top with the remaining slices, sauce side down.

Butter (1/2 tbsp per slice) the outside of the sandwiches.

Preheat your grill over medium heat for at least 5 minutes. Add the sandwiches and grill for 3 to

5 minutes per side or until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted.

Allow the sandwiches to cool for a few minutes, cut them in half and serve.

More, please, sir!

Grown-up Grilled Cheese

Six Killer Grilled Cheese Recipes

There are tricks to the best-grilled cheese sandwich.

South African Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Ooey, gooey, smokey, cheesy, creamy, spicy, sweet, and crunchy. Any questions?

Grown-Up Guide to Grilled Cheese

From five New York City restaurants that specialize in grilled cheese sandwiches.

And for dessert!

When most people think of grilled cheese, they imagine a savory, cheesy sandwich served over lunch, but have you ever had a sweet grilled cheese?

**Backed by Science

Truthfully, the human brain is nearly 60 percent fat. We’ve learned in recent years that fatty acids are among the most crucial molecules that determine your brain’s integrity and ability to perform. Cheese, like other high-fat dairy products, contains powerful fatty acids that have been linked to all sorts of benefits, including reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

Butter is an excellent source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) — a type of fat found in meat and dairy products. CLA has been linked to impressive health benefits. Studies show that CLA may have anticancer properties and could help reduce the growth of breast, colon, colorectal, stomach, prostate, and liver cancer.

Tomato Soup

15-minute Creamy Tomato Soup

Makes 2 ½ quarts

Making excellent tomato soup from scratch at home is almost as easy as simply opening a can, and the return on your minor time investment is significant. See my notes in the recipe below for maximizing flavor.

Ingredients

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane grater

1 small onion, finely sliced (about 1 cup)

1 teaspoon dried oregano (I prefer fresh, but dried works)

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into rough 1/2-inch pieces (or tear out the middle of a nice artisan loaf)

2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes packed in juice (San Marzano is an excellent choice, I like Fire Roasted Muir Glen Diced Tomatoes for a smokier flavor)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Minced chives, basil, or parsley as garnish

Toasted bread or grilled cheese for serving (of course!)

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat until shimmering. Add garlic, onions, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently until onions are softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add bread and tomatoes. Roughly mash tomatoes with a whisk or a potato masher. Add 2 cups water (I prefer a chicken bone broth). Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes.

Transfer half of soup to the jar of a blender. Blend soup, starting at low speed and gradually increasing to high (be careful starting up, it can shoot out the top of the blender—open the vent and hold a kitchen towel over the lid to prevent blowout). With blender running on high, gradually trickle in half of remaining olive oil. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with remaining half of soup and olive oil.

Ladle into individual serving bowls, top with minced herbs, drizzle with more olive oil, and serve with grilled cheese.

ON THAT (INTELLIGENT) NOTE

In celebration of high intelligence and talent and all things playful and fun, I remind you of this young musical genius, and present to you some of his pals.

Jacob Collier

Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough

Brilliant, complex, tight, doesn’t take himself too seriously….

Jacob Collier – All I Need (with Mahalia & Ty Dolla $ign) 

Then he found this guy…

Daniel Caesar – Best Part 

And they did this….

BONUS TRACK

What a nut..

Jacob Collier – Time Alone With You ft. Daniel Caesar

=CTH=

Chef Tom is currently transitioning from Personal Chef to Private Chef. He also teaches cooking classes, caters small parties and leads overseas culinary tours. His specialty for the last twelve years has been cooking for people with food allergies and sensitivities. His motto is “Food should give you pleasure, not pressure.”

Check him out at www.hippkitchen.com

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