Bacon and Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Homemade Ketchup
This post came about over a discussion on taste, as in the tastes of salty, sweet, bitter, sour and umami. I was asked which was my favourite way to experience umami, and my gut response was cheese! It got me thinking, the classic combination of umami in cheese and in the high levels of glutamic acid found in tomatoes is best expressed in the classic pairing of a grilled cheese sandwich dipped in tomato ketchup (although pizza and cheese lasagna were close runners up).
So I set out to create the ultimate umami bomb, a bacon-y grilled cheese with homemade ketchup.
The sandwich portion of this post will be generalized in terms of amounts of ingredients as a grilled cheese is super easy to make, and the amount of cheese, and number of sandwiches is totally up to you. To make this pack an umami punch I recommend using the suggested sourdough bread, bacon and cheese listed below, but the options are really endless.
The black forest bacon adds a nice smokiness and using the reserved bacon fat in which to fry the sourdough gives the sandwich a crisp golden brown, flavour-packed crust.
I also suggest using Upper Canada Cheese Company’s Niagara Gold cheese. It’s a white, semi-firm cheese that has an earthy pungency that gives this sandwich a zip, and is mellowed when paired with classic cheddar.
Sliced sourdough bread
Sliced Niagara Gold cheese (or a cheese with a little ‘stink’ to it)
Sliced Balderson cheddar
Black forest bacon (two slices per sandwich)
Homemade Ketchup – recipe found here
Preheat oven to 350F
On a parchment-lined baking sheet arrange bacon in a single layer
Bake bacon for about 20 minutes, remove from oven and let cool
Remove bacon from baking sheet, but reserve the greasy baking sheet, as we will be using that!
Set a large frying pan over medium heat
Place sourdough slices in the bacon fat on the baking sheet used to cook the bacon and smear around a bit to get the fat into the bread
Assemble sandwiches with the greased side out, with layers of cheese on both sides and bacon in the middle
Fry in frying pan, flipping regularly until cheese is melted and outside golden and crispy
Serve with homemade ketchup