Joy the Baker

Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese Sandwich

September 23, 2012

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There are a lot of things I can’t figure out.   Read:  There are a lot of things I haven’t taken the time to figure out.

I can’t figure out dry-cleaning.  I think it has something to do with folding clothes perfectly then covering them in plastic.

I can’t figure out why people enjoy karaoke so much when it’s so clearly just the singing version of public speaking… which makes is SO MUCH WORSE YOU GUYS!

I can’t figure out why saying ‘yes’ is easier than saying ‘no’.  Actually I have figured that out.  The face of disappointment is terrifying.

I can’t figure out why Taylor Swifts “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is sooooo dang singable.  Help me.

There are a lot of things I CAN figure out… namely:  Shrimp and Grits and Potato Chip Sandwiches.

And while I still may stumble on the grammatical difference between laying and lying… I know that at least… at the very least, I can make an AMAZING (seriously…) spicy grilled cheese sandwich.  The rest I can Google.  Amen.

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I feel like I don’t need to tell you how to make a grilled cheese sandwich.  You know what’s up.

You may not know that the addition of cream cheese and roasted jalapeno elevate this sandwich to heavenly levels.

pepper jack grilled cheese

Let’s talk about these dang jalapenos.  We can’t just buy them from the store and go slicing them willy-nilly.

They need to be charred and have their skins removed.  I do this over my gas burner.

pepper jack grilled cheese

The pepper is blistered and charred over an open flame.  The broiler also works well for this treatment.

Ultimately, we want the whole pepper charred.

pepper jack grilled cheese

After the peppers are charred, they need to be steamed.  I steamed my peppers in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.  Just place the hot peppers in a regular old pot.  No flame under the pot necessary.  This will help loosen the skins.  It’s pepper skin science.

pepper jack grilled cheese

Peppers are peeled.  I used the business-end of a knife to remove the skins . The less pepper spice we get on our hands the better.  It stings.

pepper jack grilled cheese

Peeled peppers are sliced open and seeds are removed (again with a knife).  Much of the unbearable heat of jalapeno peppers is in the seed.

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After a coarse chopping of the charred, peeled, and de-seeded peppers… we can get down to sandwich glory.

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Let’s use two different kinds of cheese for these sandwiches:  cream cheese and Monterey Jack.  Let’s take inspiration from Jalapeno Poppers and just go for it!

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Sandwiches are slathered in butter, smeared with softened cream cheese, topped with roasted peppers, and then sprinkled with Monterey Jack cheese.

I really feel like I need to apologize.  It’s just too good.  Gosh.

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Sandwiches are ready for a hot pan.  I prepared these sandwiches in a square oven pan just so that I could transfer them to a hot skillet.  Let’s melt these!

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Creamy.  Melty.  Spicy.  Beyond everything you thought you knew about grilled cheese sandwiches.

I paired these with Bread and Butter Pickles and a Cola.

It’s like a special occasion for my belly.

pepper jack grilled cheese

I take my food pictures in a super glamorous location… right by my front door.

This is real life.  Laundry detergent on the bookshelf.

pepper jack grilled cheese

This is also real life.  Medium warm though pleasantly spicy grilled cheese sandwiches.  On the couch.  With a soda and pickles.  And a cat that’s watching, waiting, and begging.

Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

makes 2 sandwiches

Print this Recipe!

5 jalapeno peppers

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

4 slices bread

Let’s first work with the jalapenos.  Char jalapeno skins by placing them over a low open flame, and rotating them until blackened all around.  You can also place jalapenos under the broiler and toast until blackened on all sides.  Remove from the flame (or oven), and allow the peppers to steam.  I placed my hot and blackened peppers in a small pot with the lid on.  You can also loosely wrap the peppers in foil.    After peppers have steamed for about 10 minutes, place on a clean work surface.  Use the sharp edge of a knife to scrape the skin off the peppers.  Once clean of skin, slice off the top, cup dow the center vertically, and use the knife to scrape out the seeds.  Coarsely chop and set aside.

I use a knife to peel and de-seed the jalapenos.  It’s best to touch the peppers as little as possible, or wear plastic gloves.

Butter one side of each slice of bread.  Flip the bread so the butter is facing down.  Spread half of the cream cheese on two slices of the bread.  Sprinkle diced jalapenos atop the cream cheese.  Divide the shredded cheese atop the jalapenos and cream cheese.  Top with remaining bread slice, butter side up.

Grill sandwiches in a non-stick saute pan over medium heat.  Flip and cook until golden brown on each side.  Slice in half and serve immediately.


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