Friday, April 12, 2019
Grilled cheese served at The Chef's Table

April 12 is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich day! Celebrate with our gourmet grilled cheese recipe created by The Chef's Table.


  • Sourdough bread, sliced
  • Old cheddar cheese, sliced
  • Monterey Jack cheese, sliced
  • ¼ cup of bourbon bacon jam


Bourbon bacon jam

  • 1 ½ pounds sliced bacon, cut crosswise into one inch pieces
  • 4 small cloves garlic, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
  • 2 cups finely chopped shallots
  • 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar


1. Spread half of bacon in a single layer in a large skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned, 20 to 23 minutes. Once cooked, drain on paper towel. Remove fat; clean pan. Repeat with remaining bacon, reserving 1 tablespoon of pan fat.

2. Add shallots and garlic to pan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until translucent. Add chili powder, ginger, and mustard and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Increase heat to high; add bourbon and maple syrup. Bring to a boil. Add vinegar and brown sugar and return to a boil. Add reserved bacon; reduce heat to low. Simmer, until liquid reduces to a thick glaze.

3. Transfer mixture to a food processor and pulse until it has the consistency of a chunky jam.


To build:

Slice two, equal thickness slices of Sourdough bread. Butter both side of each piece with healthy amount of butter.

Heat up a cast iron pan, lay one piece of buttered bread onto pan on med/low heat.

Add two slices of Old Cheddar, ¼ c of Bourbon Bacon and two slices of Monterey Jack Cheese.

Place remaining piece of buttered bread on top. Once bottom bread has become crispy and golden flip the sandwich over. Repeat.

Allow to cool slightly before enjoying! Yum!


Improve your grilled cheese


Looking for a challenge? Try making your own sourdough bread!

Sourdough starter (yield: 3 cups)

2 cups All Purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons Dry Active Yeast

In a medium glass bowl or large Mason jar, combine flour, 2 cups warm water, the yeast, and sugar. Stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place. Let rest for 2 days, until mixture forms bubbles. Refrigerate until ready to use.


Sourdough bread

  • 250 grams of Sourdough starter
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 5 ½ cups bread flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons fine sea salt

1. In a large bowl, combine the sourdough starter with 3 cups of warm water and mix together.

2. Add the flour and mix with your hands or a bench scraper until all the flour is incorporated. Do not knead (The dough may seem dry at this point.). Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for 45 minutes in a warm place.

3. Add the salt and ¼ cup of warm water to the dough and mix well to distribute the salt throughout the dough.

4. Starting at the top of the bowl, pick up the edge of the dough and stretch it over the rest of the dough in the bowl. Turn the bowl 45 degrees and repeat this stretching and lifting process with the side that is now at the top. Do this two more times so that you have stretched each side of the dough ball

5. Cover the bowl and place in a warm spot for 35 minutes.

6. Repeat the four turns again. Cover and allow to rest for another 35 minutes.

7. Repeat again, resting in between. You’re looking for an elastic texture so that you can easily pull one side up high and fold it over the rest of the dough. Allow to rest one last time for 35 minutes.

8. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board. Divide into two equal parts.

9. Using your bench scraper, shape each piece of dough into a round shape. Allow the loaves to rest for 10-15 minutes and then shape again.

10. Place the loaves top side down into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight. To bake, preheat oven to 450.

11. Turn out the loaf and place top side up in a lidded baking vessel, such as a ceramic cloche or Dutch oven. If the vessel does not have a dark or non-stick interior, coat the bottom lightly with oil and sprinkle with coarse flour, such as semolina, to prevent sticking. Slash the top to allow steam to escape. Cover and bake for 30 minutes until loaf has risen.

13. Remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until you achieve the color you desire.Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack to cool. Repeat process with second piece of dough.

Photo of Carmen Erin Cirecelli-RussellAbout the expert:

Erin Cirecelli-Russell is the lunch chef for The Chef's Table at Fanshawe College. With a life-long passion for cooking, Erin's career began in her early teens where she worked in banquet halls and at a local pasta shop. After graduating from Fanshawe's Culinary Management program, she travelled the world where she dove deep into local life and cuisine. Erin loves to encourage students to try new and exciting mash-ups with food and drink. In her eyes, there are no rules when it comes to food and cooking.



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