Sweet Corn Soup and Grilled Cheese with Bourbon-Bacon Jam

Sweet Corn Soup and Grilled Cheese Bourbon-Bacon Jam

Yes, that’s right Bourbon-Bacon Jam. Make this now if you like bourbon and bacon.

I got the basis of this meal from Bourbon Country magazine (Go figure, right?). I was obviously intrigued by the bourbon-bacon jam, but really the whole meal sounded great. I tweaked it a good bit, like I served the soup warm (it was chill outside) and added the chili for heat. The sandwiches would’ve probably been better if the tomato and arugula were added after cooking.

I would have never thought of making the parmesan and olive oil mixture to make the crust on the grilled cheese, nice touch. In the Bourbon Country article the chef (Levon Wallace, Proof on Main in Louisville, KY) used butter but I prefer the more healthy version of olive oil. I’ll be doing that forever.

Ironically, the soup turned out to be the star. It was bursting with fresh corn flavor and the back-end chili heat was a perfect match.


Bourbon-Bacon Jam Ingredients

  • 4 pieces of applewood smoked bacon (I prefer Niman Ranch)
  • ½ white onion, sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • ¼ cup coffee
  • ½ cup maple syrup
Bourbon-Bacon Jam Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook bacon until brown mostly rendered. Reserve fat.
  2. Add onions and 1 tablespoon of reserved bacon fat. Cook until caramelized, about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened.
  4. Place in food processor and pulse to a consistency you like.


Sweet Corn Soup Ingredients

  • 4 ears fresh corn, husks removed and kernels shucked, cobs reserved
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 cup dry white wine (or sherry)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • Cheyenne pepper (to taste)
  • Chipotle chili powder (to taste)
  • Olive oil
Sweet Corn Soup Directions

  1. In a large stock pot, add water, chicken stock, bay leaf and corn cobs and bring to boil then reduce to simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, strain and reserve the liquid.
  2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, shallot and vegetable oil and cook for 2 minutes, add reserved corn kernels. Toss and cook another 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add wine, lemon zest and juice, Cheyenne pepper, Chipotle Chili powder and continue cooking until the liquid has reduced by half. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. In batches, add corn mixture with corn stock to a blender. Puree until very smooth and repeat until all of the mixture is smooth. Using a strainer, pass the puree slowly through working with a spatula discarding pulp.
  5. Place soup in a pot and cover. Keep warm.


Grilled Cheese Ingredients

  • 4 slices bread (we used multi-grain Italian from Publix)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese (only the best)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices provolone cheese
  • Tomato, thinly sliced
  • Baby arugula
Grilled Cheese Directions

  1. Pre heat a griddle or large pan over medium heat.
  2. In a small bowl, add parmesan cheese and equal amount of olive oil and mix to combine. See aside.
  3. Assemble sandwiches by adding cheese, tomato, arugula and a small drizzle of olive oil on one side and bourbon-bacon jam on the other.
  4. Slather the outside of the top piece of bread with the parmesan cheese and olive oil mixture and place that side on the griddle. While on the griddle, slather the other side with the remaining parmesan and oil mixture. Cook until golden brown.
Sweet Corn Soup and Grilled Cheese with Bourbon-Bacon Jam

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