Sunday, October 16, 2011

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup

Ingredients for the tomato soup:
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 T extra virgin basil olive oil
3 T finely diced shallots
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 T finely chopped thyme leaves
2 T finely chopped basil leaves
3 strips thick sliced apple wood smoked bacon, fried and diced
3 ounce tomato paste
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken broth
sugar, to taste
1 T chiffonnade basil, for garnish

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Ingredients for the sandwich:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 T grated parmigiano-reggiano
1 T Dijon mustard, plus 4 T
8 slices Shephard's bread
8 ounces white Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 heirloom tomato, sliced into 3 (1/8-inch) slices
8 strips thick sliced apple wood smoked bacon, fried

Preparing the soup:
Puree the crushed tomatoes and set aside. In a heavy stainless steel pot, heat basil olive oil. Add shallots and cook until soft. Add garlic, thyme, chopped basil, bacon, and tomato paste and continue to cook, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add tomato puree, cream, chicken broth, and salt and sugar, to taste. Bring to a simmer. Pour soup into bowls and garnish with chiffonnade basil.

Serves 4

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Preparing the sandwiches:
Combine butter, parmigiano-reggiano, and 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard. Spread a liberal amount of butter mixture on 2 slices of bread. Flip over slices and spread some Dijon mustard on other sides. Place Cheddar cheese on the Dijon side of both slices. Place bacon on top of cheese on 1 slice and sliced tomatoes on top of cheese on other slice. Combine both sides together and place in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook until golden brown and crusty. Flip sandwich and place a weighted cast iron pan on top. Cook until golden brown and cheese has melted.

Serves 4


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