Morning Campers! Boy have I got a treat for you today. For this month’s guest post I have teamed up with Ste Holmes – the man behind HUSSS Sandwich Co. in Liverpool.
Ste makes AWESOME sandwiches, served from a food truck on Myrtle Street, Liverpool. And his story is genuinely really cool. After graduating from University in 2008, he went on his travels around South East Asia. Being a true food lover, he was blown away at every meal-time by the amazing flavours they use in this part of the world. From the rich and complex noodle soups of Vietnam, to the spicy, fresh salads of Thailand, he was hooked on the delicious variety of flavour combinations.
When Ste returned home to the UK he put his degree on the back-burner and began researching the various cuisines of South East Asia. After studying hundreds of recipes, he realised almost all of the meals he had been enjoying contain the five flavours: HOT, UMAMI, SOUR, SALTY & SWEET – and so ‘HUSSS’ Sandwich Co. was born.
When these five flavours are used together, they compliment each other and create the most amazing taste sensation. Over the past couple of years, the HUSSS Sarnie team have worked together using combinations of the five flavours to develop a unique range of HUSSS Sandwiches. In short – they are using South East Asian culinary principles to liven up your lunchtime! And I am so in love with this concept!
In true guest post style, I have an exclusive recipe for you to try, and some words below from the man himself. If you give this a go at home, we would love to hear how you got on, and see your grilled cheese creations, so use the hashtag #baconjamgrilled if you do and we will retweet our favourites!
Recipe: Bacon Jam Grilled Cheese, yes, that’s Bacon. Jam. Grilled. Cheese.
The question we get asked most when this is on our menu is ‘What is bacon jam?’ Short answer, jam made of bacon. Long answer, smoked and unsmoked streaky bacon with bourbon, maple syrup and spices. What’s not to love?
You need to make the jam at least a couple of days in advance to let the flavours marry, but other than that it’s plain sailing. This recipe makes enough to make four bacon-filled grilled sarnies, with enough left over to slather on burgers, hot dogs and cereal (if you’re a gamer).
Chipotle chilli powder is ground smoked Jalapeno. It adds layers of depth to the jam. If you can’t find it, substitute Cayenne, but please find it. Phone me, I’ll send you some. Cumin adds a lovely earthy flavour, and the Bacon, well, it’s Bacon.
What you need:
- 2 tbsp neutral oil, vegetable or peanut are ideal
- 150g finely diced onion
- 150g finely diced shallot
- 3 large cloves garlic, diced
- 600g streaky bacon – mixture of smoked and unsmoked, diced
- 1 tsp chipotle chilli powder
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground mustard
- 125ml bourbon whiskey
- 65ml maple syrup, pure maple, a little goes a long way and the mixed stuff is nasty
- 80ml cup balsamic vinegar
- 80g brown sugar
What to do:
- Heat a heavy based pan (Le Creseut is a winner here) over medium heat. Add 1 tsbp oil, then the onions and shallots. Cook for about ten minutes until they are soft and translucent (be careful not to burn them as that will make the jam taste acrid). Once softened, add the garlic and cook for two minutes more. Remove the onion mix to a bowl.
- Add the remaining tbsp of oil to the pan, followed by the chopped bacon. Cook out for 30 minutes, stirring frequently until crispy. Cook in batches if you’re pan is a tiddler.
- Return onions to pan, along with the spices. Cook for one minute. Add the whiskey, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar and bring to the boil. Add the sugar and once amalgamated (massive word) turn the heat down. Cook for a further 15 minutes until the mixture has reduced and become jammy. Stir frequently.
- Use a stick blender or transfer to a food processor and blend to a coarse consistency. You want some texture; you don’t want a smooth puree.
Mozzarella is THE perfect cheese for grilled cheese. It melts amazing and goes stringy and gooey. On the downside, it’s a pretty neutral cheese. So an extra mature cheddar is the perfect bed partner. We’ve tried all sorts of posh breads for grilled cheese. Sourdough, rye, ciabatta, you name it. But simple sliced white gets our vote. You need a thinnish bread so the cheese can melt and its innards can become volcanic. Warburtons Danish loaf is our go to. It’s not very artisan but it really does the job.
What you need:
- 8 tbsp bacon jam
- 4 slices mozzarella (sliced, not fresh)
- 4 slices extra mature cheddar
- 8 slices white bread (we use Danish bread, found in most supermarket bread aisles)
- Butter, at room temperature
What to do:
- Lay four slices of sliced white on a chopping board. Top each piece of bread with a slice of mozzarella, followed by two tbsp of bacon jam. Use a palette knife (or normal knife if you don’t have one) to spread the jam all over the cheese, making sure to reach every corner evenly. Top with a layer of cheddar and another piece of bread.
- Heat a frying pan, or ideally two (or four if you want to serve them all at once and you’re felling switched on) over a medium heat. Use a palette knife to nail the top slice of bread in butter, making sure to cover every corner.
- Place a sandwich buttered side down in the frying pan and coat the naked side of bread in butter. Get a saucepan lid or weight and push down on the sandwich. This will make sure that all of its surface area is being grilled. Don’t touch it. I know you want to, but don’t. It’s the Maillard Reaction (Wikipedia it). You want it to get nice and brown but definitely not burnt. Listen to it. When you hear it toasting away nicely flip the sandwich and repeat with the other side. If it’s beige you’re premature. If it’s burnt blame me and start again. We do about a two minutes-two and half minutes per side over a medium heat with a saucepan lid pressed down on the sarnie.
- Once both sides are golden flip it out onto a chopping board and slice on the diagonal. The mozzarella should be stringy, the bacon jam scorching, and the bread lovely and crispy.
Hot (Chipotle), Umami (Cheese), Sour (Balsamic Vinegar), Salty (Bacon), Sweet (Maple Syrup). HUSSS. Dig in.
And if that wasn’t enough to get your tastebuds tingling, here are some more images of Ste’s other mouth-watering creations: