Gourmet grilled cheese sandwich

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Buttered country Levain bread, goat chevre, Monterey jack cheese, applewood smoked bacon, apricot-jalapeno relish

Ingredients

  • 2 slices high-quality artisan bread (The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen uses levain from Pinkie's Bakery in San Francisco for our sandwiches) - about 1/2" thick slices
  • Salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 T chevre (fresh goat cheese) - it helps to let it warm up a bit, easier to spread
  • 1.5 oz Monterey jack cheese, sliced
  • 2 T (about an ounce) apricot jalapeno relish (recipe below)
  • 2 pieces cooked applewood-smoked bacon (fairly crisp)
To assemble sandwich:
  1. Spread a thin layer of butter on one side of both slices of bread.

  2. Lay bread butter side down on a cutting board.

  3. Spread chevre on one piece of bread, and relish on the other.

  4. Lay Monterey jack slice over relish, piecing the cheese together so you've got an even layer of jack across the entire sandwich.

  5. Lay 2 bacon slices on jack, and top with other slice, chevre side down.
It is reccommended to cook grilled cheeses in a convection oven cranked up to 450F in a pre-heated cast iron skillet, that way the cheese melts before the bread gets over-crisped, which often happens in a skillet with thicker sandwiches.

However, skillets (just don't turn the heat up too high, and be patient), sandwich presses and even clothes irons -- can be used to make great grilled cheese.

Apricot Jalapeno Relish
Makes enough for about 12 sandwiches

Ingredients:
  • 8 oz dried California apricots (California, or Blenheim, make a big difference vs Turkish), chopped
  • 3 oz white onions, diced small
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, stems and seeds removed, minced
  • 2 serrano peppers, cleaned and minced
  • If you really like it hot, add half a habanero too
  • 1 T fresh lime juice (about 1/2 a lime's worth)
  • 1/2 T mustard powder
  • 1/2 oz minced fresh ginger (I like to keep it in the freezer and grate it in directly with a microplane grater, but I can also demo a nifty way to peel fresh ginger with a spoon)
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t salt
Preparation:
  1. Toss all ingredients together thoroughly and allow to sit for at least one hour but preferably overnight.

  2. Amount of peppers should be adjusted to taste so nobody burns their face off, but we've found that cheese and bacon really knock the heat down so make the relish hotter than you think you'd want it.
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About Heidi Gibson, Commander-in-Cheese:

Heidi is the menu architect and co-owner of The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. As the winningest Grilled Cheese Invitational contestant in history, Heidi dreamt up the concept of a gourmet grilled cheese restaurant after numerous fans, rival grilled-cheese chefs, sandwich judges, family and friends encouraged her.

Her culinary creativity stems from years as a competitive grilled-cheese chef, and a scientific approach to sandwich making as she also holds bachelor's and Master's degrees in engineering from MIT.

>> VIDEO: Intro to The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen on YouTube
>> VIDEO: 8th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational on YouTube

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The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen
1 South Park Ave.
Suite 103A
San Francisco, 94107
Phone: (415) 243-0107
Fax: (415) 243-0108
E-mail: info@theamericansf.com
Website: theamericansf.com

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