AoM Month of Sandwiches Day #7: Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese

by Jeremy Anderberg on April 9, 2013 · 19 comments

in Cooking, Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure

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Welcome to Day #7 of the AoM sandwich project. Last month we asked readers for their best sandwich recommendations. Out of 483 submissions, we picked 20 to highlight here on the site each weekday during the month of April. At the end, we’ll publish all the entries into an epic man-sandwich cookbook. Enjoy.

Today’s Sandwich: Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese by Matt

There were plenty of grilled cheese variations submitted from readers. This one caught my eye, as I love a good jalapeno popper. I also have never had a chance to roast jalapenos, so I was excited to give that a shot as well. Let’s see how it went!

Ingredients

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  • Sourdough bread
  • 2 jalapenos
  • Butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Sharp cheddar cheese

Step 1: Prepare Jalapenos

Cut the ends, then cut lengthwise, and remove the seeds. If you want some extra hotness, keep a few in. I chose not to for this sandwich.

Cut the ends, then cut lengthwise, and remove the seeds. If you want some extra hotness, keep a few in. I chose not to for this sandwich.

Put the cut jalapenos on tin foil on a baking sheet. Place under broiler for ~5 minutes. I allowed them to steam for a few minutes underneath a bowl so the skin would loosen up. Then peel the skin with a knife. It's easier than I expected to roast jalapenos.

Put the cut jalapenos on tin foil on a baking sheet. Place under broiler for about 5 minutes. Next I allowed the peppers to steam for a few minutes underneath a bowl so that their now-charred skin would loosen up. Then peel the skin with a knife. It’s easier than I expected to roast jalapenos. In the pic above, the skin I removed from the peppers sits on the lower left-hand side, and the ready peppers are up top.

Step 2: Begin Grilled Cheese Assembly on the Stove

Butter one side of each piece of bread just like you would for a normal grilled cheese. Slap it down on the skillet and spread cream cheese on the side facing up to you.

Butter one side of each piece of bread just like you would for a normal grilled cheese. Slap it down on the skillet and spread cream cheese on the side facing up to you.

Step 3: Add Peppers and Cheddar Cheese

The two pepper, cut lengthwise, fit perfectly onto the piece of bread. I'll bet that was planned...

The two peppers, cut lengthwise, fit perfectly onto the piece of bread. I’ll bet that was planned…

A couple good, hearty slices of sharp cheddar.

A couple good, hearty slices of sharp cheddar.

Step 4: Top with Bread and Finish

Grill to a nice golden brown, and enjoy the crap out of it!

Grill to a nice golden brown, and enjoy the crap out of it!

Final Product

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Taster’s Notes

This is a great sandwich, and a few key pieces are what really make it special. First of all, sourdough is a fantastic choice for grilled cheese. Definitely a step up from regular wheat or white sandwich bread. This is for sure my new go-to bread for grilled cheese. The cream cheese was also awesome, although I added too little, I think. Next time I’d give it a good healthy spreading instead of a light one. I would add one major addition: bacon. Roasted peppers are a little slimy to begin with, so the crunchiness of bacon would offset them well. Also, the best jalapeno poppers have bacon, so it seems like a natural addition. I didn’t have any on hand, but you can bet I will next time. I would probably also leave a few seeds in the jalapenos to give it some extra hotness. Great sandwich idea, Matt!

 

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jesse Harris April 9, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Cravings Bistro in American Fork, UT does a sandwich like this, except they use actual jalapeno poppers. They also serve it with a side of pepper jelly for dipping which I highly recommend.

2 Gentleman McGanster April 9, 2013 at 4:23 pm

You should do the Rueben sandwich next.

3 Dave April 9, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Man-o-man, I think people have lost the art of the grilled cheese or something. Don’t get me wrong! This sandwich sounds awesome – I personally prefer many other cheeses to cheddar when it’s meltin’ time, but that’s just me – but the basic all-time tenet of grilled cheese has been forgotten!

Butter both sides of your bread. Both sides of both pieces of bread. i.e. butter-bread-butter-cheese-butter-bread-butter.

Trust me on this, I beseech you! Ye olde grilled cheese has long been one of my favorite sandwiches, in many variations.

It occurs to me that maybe my upbringing and learning of the grilled cheese is different than that of others. But I promise, it’s good eats.

4 Eric Granata April 9, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Wow! This is a brilliant idea.

I love jalapeno poppers. The next time you have some venison backstrap in the deep-freeze, try stuffing half a pepper with cream cheese, put a small cut of thawed backstrap on top, wrap it in bacon and toothpick it. Throw these on the grill for a bit. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed:-)

5 Ben April 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm

I once had leftover bacon-wrapped poppers which I chopped up and used as the filling for an omelet. Fantastic!

6 Adrienne April 9, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Most of the “heat” of jalapeno is in the ribs and not the seeds. As the pepper becomes older it gets hotter and develops little brown striations on the outside. The smoother the outside skin, the younger the pepper.

7 Jeremy Anderberg April 10, 2013 at 8:11 am

Good to know Adrienne! So next time, for some heat, I could take the seeds out, but leave those ribs in? The ones I used were a little wrinkly, so probably just about right?

Thanks!

8 chris April 10, 2013 at 9:33 am

You can simplify this quite a bit;
1. After de-seeding the peppers, dice them up. This way, you don’t need to worry about removing the skin.
2. Toss them in the skillet with the bread. This way, you are sauteing them while you are toasting the bread. You can skip the broiler.
3. Before adding the cheese, toss the diced peppers on the bread much in the same way noted in the article.

It might not taste quite the same but it will be very very close – and you won’t leave the peppers under the broiler for too long. The broiler is a harsh mistress.

9 Lance April 10, 2013 at 11:32 am

Oh man, I can’t wait to try this. I usually have my grilled cheese with a bowl of tomato soup. I wonder how this grilled cheese will go with tomato soup?

10 Jeremy Anderberg April 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm

@chris – Good idea. I do love a good diced jalapeno, and that’s how I usually prefer it on burgers.

@Lance – I’m curious as well. If you try it out, let us know!

11 Kevan April 11, 2013 at 8:30 am

This is an awesome sandwich idea! Wow…

@Adrienne – that’s amazing – I’ve had hot peppers wrong all this time. I tend to get rid of the rib anyway, but rather than use more pepper, I can just leave in those ribs! Thanks for the insight!

12 Jake April 12, 2013 at 6:10 am

If you really want some heat in your peppers, let them rest overnight after you roast them. Then peel and deseed them. The oil in the ribs and internal membrane will penetrate the rest of the pepper and the develop lots of heat.

13 Matt April 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Jeremy – My wife and I are glad to hear you liked the sandwich I submitted. We’ll admit that we hadn’t thought of trying bacon on it. Considering we have an excellent butcher in town who makes the best bacon ever, we’ve agreed that the next time we make these, they will include a few slices of crispy bacon.

Lance – As the submitter of this sandwich and one who has eaten a number of them, I can say that this sandwich goes great with a good bowl of tomato soup.

14 bierluvre April 14, 2013 at 9:15 am

I am jealous I didn’t think of this sandwich. I will be trying it soon!

15 Raoul Duke April 14, 2013 at 12:07 pm

This sandwich was pretty tasty. Sourdough is a must: it gets nice and crispy/crunchy the way a good grilled cheese should be. Also, if the bread is slightly stale, it helps with spreading the cream cheese and butter, which I had at around room temp to make spreading easier. Roasting the peppers was the only time consuming part. I think you would probably get the same results with canned, roasted jalapeños. Also, whipping them into the cream cheese before spreading for more even distribution of peppery goodness. I’ll try that next time….with bacon, of course.

16 Nicole April 14, 2013 at 10:54 pm

*The* way to make a grilled cheese isn’t to butter the bread at all–it’s to spread a little mayo very lightly on the side to be grilled. It crisps up into this gorgeous coating. Ever since I tried it I refuse to use butter on my grilled cheese sandwiches :)

17 Kevin D April 16, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Great Idea!

Some tips… you can put some shredde cheese in the pan an mop it up with the crust, will give it a great burnt cheese taste.

I’d also advise (if the cheese is cold) microwaving the cheese for 15-30s before putting in pan

18 james r April 20, 2013 at 6:06 am

Made this last night and boy was it delicious. Everything went swimmingly until my eye itched and I had residual pepper juice on my finger. Ow!

19 Phil S May 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Also incredible when put into a panini press, opposed to grilling. A little butter on the bread and let it sit in the press for about 5 minutes, or until the beautiful grill marks are to your liking.

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