Recipe: Gourmet Grilled Cheese with Tomato Jam

Young Kwak photo


s the tomato a fruit or vegetable? While pundits debate, you're the winner with this bright, unconventional jam that harnesses the natural sweetness of cooked-down tomatoes. Add it to a grilled cheese sandwich, and you'll enjoy a new twist on that classic cheese sandwich/tomato soup flavor combo. You'll have jam left over to add to gluten-free latkes topped with whipped feta for an unforgettable side dish that might just steal the show.

Tomato Jam

¼ cup minced shallots

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

¼ teaspoon chili flakes

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon allspice

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1. Heat olive oil on high, add tomatoes, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or just until tomatoes start to sizzle.

2. Add shallots, garlic, chili flakes, salt and allspice, stir.

3. Add brown sugar and sherry vinegar, stir.

4. Turn heat down to medium/low and allow liquid to cook into the tomatoes, stirring the tomatoes every few minutes.

5. Once there is no liquid left, about 10 minutes, turn off heat.

6. Add lemon zest to the tomato jam and stir to combine.

7. Allow to cool before serving. To store, refrigerate in a nonreactive container.

Young Kwak photo

Artisan Grilled Cheese (makes 4)

1 loaf rustic sourdough bread (or similar), cut into 8 slices

6 slices Beecher's Flagship White Cheddar

4 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese, divided

4 tablespoons tomato jam, divided

Extra virgin olive oil

1. Brush one side of each piece of bread with olive oil and place brushed side down on a plate.

2. Stack 1½ slices of cheddar, 1 tablespoon each of goat cheese and tomato jam onto bread.

3. Top with the remaining slices of bread and brush slices with olive oil.

4. In a skillet or panini press with medium heat, grill each sandwich for 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden brown.

5. Remove from heat, cut and serve.

— Recipes courtesy of chef Ryan Jordan at Beacon Hill Catering and Events.