Grilled Cheese that Pops!
One day while I was devouring a batch of the ridiculously addictive jalapeno popper dip, I was thinking about other ways to enjoy this amazing flavour combination and the idea that “popped” into my head was the one for a jalapeno popper grilled cheese sandwich. (lol I know that was a groaner, but admit it you laughed).
The challenge was how to incorporate the flavour and texture of jalapeno poppers in a grilled cheese sandwich and the first step was the jalapeno peppers themselves. I really could not see biting into a perfectly grilled sandwich with all of the melted gooey cheese and hitting hard raw jalapeno peppers and although pickled jalapeno peppers would likely have done the trick I decided to take the extra step and I roasted the peppers first. Some days I just like putting 100% into my cooking. WAIT! That’s every day J
In addition to softening the peppers up, roasting them would add a nice hint of smokiness. Next up was the jalapeno poppers filling and I spread some cream cheese on one slice of bread and then I stuffed in as much jack and cheddar cheese as I could. One of the things that I like about jalapeno poppers is the crunchy bread crumb coating and although the buttered bread would get nice and crispy when fried, I was looking for something a little more. Something awesome like Marilyn Munroe instead of one of the Kardashians. DON”T even get me STARTED on that messed up family.
My first thought was to just add some panko bread crumbs to the inside of the sandwich but I highly doubted that they would still be crispy by the time that I got to eating the sandwich. This one puzzled me for a while but then (as I was having a crunchy mid afternoon snack), inspiration struck. I looked at the tortilla chip in my hand and screamed “egads I have it!”. Okay maybe that was a slight exaggeration…
This sandwich turned out even better than expected! It was perfectly crispy and the filling of creamy melted cheese, spicy jalapeño peppers and crunchy tortilla chips was a food inspired home run. The cream cheese in these sandwiches was definitely a defining addition and made the sandwich one of the creamiest and cheesiest grilled cheese sandwiches ever. All of that gooey melted cheese helped to temper the spicy heat of the jalapeño peppers beautifully. I served the jalapeno popper grilled cheese sandwich along with the remaining tortillas chips and some cool and creamy guacamole.
Jalapeno Poppers Grilled Cheese
2 jalapeno peppers, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
2 slices sour dough bread
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons low fat cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup low fat monterey jack and cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon tortilla chips, crumbled
Place the peppers on a baking sheet with the cut side facing down.
Place the baking sheet on the top shelf in the oven and broil until the outer layer of the skin has blackened, about 8-14 minutes.
Place the peppers in a zip-lock bag or other sealable container, seal and let them cool until you can handle them, about 20 minutes.
Remove the skins from the peppers. The skins should easily "pinch" off.
Butter the outside of each slice of bread and spread the cream cheese on the inside. Sprinkle half of the cheese on the cream cheese of one slice of bread, top with the jalapenos, crumbled tortilla chips, the remaining cheese and finally the other slice of bread.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat.
Add the sandwich and grill until golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 2-4 minutes per side.