Saturday, September 08, 2012

Grilled Cheese and Jalapeño Sandwich

titleI have the most peculiar restaurant bad luck of having my favorite items on the menu suddenly disappear.  It has always been this way.  I like something.  I fall in love with it.  I keep coming back for more.  Then suddenly, one cursed day, I go back to find it gone.  Into thin air.  Without a trace.  Uncanny.

Because of this, I think I have unconsciously trained myself not to like any particular dish in any restaurant too much.  Or at least only profess my love for it in the secret places of my heart, but betray no outward sign of excessive devotion lest the cruel restaurant gods strike that favored dish from the menu once again.

One such dish, well more of a snack food really, was jalapeño poppers.  I could never have enough of them back in the days of my first job when stress ran high and spicy cheesy fried things had the ability to quell even the fiercest of financial industry jitters.  Then, without warning nor worry for my stress that needed sating, each of the places I would go for them, from the rowdy American franchises to the kitschy cinema food stalls, stopped serving it.  Just. Like. That.

And that is one of the reasons I love cooking.  Because when restaurants heartlessly decide to toy with your emotional cravings, you can just march into your own kitchen and build your redemption on a mountain of melted cheese.

So this is my glorious yet slightly horrific sandwich version of a jalapeño popper.  No hard and fast recipe because it is really very simple, and can be adjusted to suit one’s tastes.  But I’ve outline what you need below, in case you want to follow me down this path.

Grilled Cheese and Jalapeño Sandwich aka The Jalapeño Popper Sandwich
  • 2 slices of your favorite sandwich bread (I used French sourdough)
  • A smear of mustard (a grainy one, or one of those potent English ones would be fantastic)
  • A generous handful of grated mozzarella cheese
  • Another generous handful of grated cheddar cheese
  • Pickled jalapeño pepper slices (yes those ones in the jar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • A good pat of butter
- Spread one side of one of your bread slices with mustard.  On top of the mustard pile on some grated mozzarella cheese.  Go on, don’t be shy. 
- Place as much of the jalapeño as you think you can handle onto the cheese (I need to put more next time).  Top this with another shameless pile of grated cheddar.  Press your second slice of bread down over the whole mess. 
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together 1 egg and 1/4 cup of milk until homogenous.  Dip your cheese and jalapeño sandwich into the egg mixture, turning it over a couple of times and making sure the entire beast is coated.
- Melt the pat of butter on a non-stick skillet.  When the bubbles subside, place your sandwich carefully in the pan.  Fry on each side until both are golden brown, pressing down slightly on the sandwich as you do.  Some melted cheese may leak out and this is absolutely OK.  The cheese will form crusty bits on the sides of your sandwich that will make it all the more delicious.

Note: You can actually use any two (or more) cheeses you want – just remember to make is a good combination of flavor and melty-ness.

This is, simply put, a cheesy, buttery, spicy, oozing mass of audacity.  Not for the faint of heart, be warned, but a (literally) shining example that you should never let bad restaurant juju, or any bad juju for that matter, get in your way (food-wise or otherwise).

30 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A terrific combination! This grilled cheese looks irresistible.

Cheers,

Rosa

Gio of The Hungry Giant said...

Reading this version, I'm now ashamed of my version of grilled cheese sandwich, with uses only cheddar. haha! Seriously though, this is a winner. I've never thought of dipping a whole sandwich in a milk-egg mixture before. :) Great recipe Joey!

Midge said...

This looks like the ultimate in homespun indulgence. I love how the tang of the cheese goes beautifully with the sharpness of jalapeno. :)

Eileen said...

Jalapeno poppers in sandwich form?? OKAY! I mist try this one out ASAP. :)

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Rosa :)

Hi Gio! Nice to add a melty element also and frying it up French toast style just takes it over the top...which, let's be honest, we all need some days!

Hi Midge! Cheese and jalapeño is magic! :)

Hi Eileen! Yes! Just something cobbled together but it sure hit the spot! :)

Katrina said...

I LOOOVE cheese AND jalapenos, so I should try making this! Since I don't really cook and I'm lazy, grilled cheese sandwiches are the most common thing I make for myself at home. I just try to make different versions, for variety. I've also done French Toast versions -- how could I not, when that combines two of my favorite ways to enjoy bread?!

The craziest, most calorific thing I tried was when I happened to have some leftover mac 'n' cheese. I made this: http://www.tastespotting.com/features/cheesy-mac-n-rib-recipe-from-the-grilled-cheese-truck
But I didn't have pulled pork, so I shredded some leftover roast chicken instead. It was GOOD, but not something I could have often! (Partly because it's so fattening, but mostly because I don't usually have mac 'n' cheese, roast chicken/pulled pork, or even barbecue sauce on hand.)

I remember we've talked about how we both love jalapeno poppers and bemoan their loss. But Taters now has a Mexican version of their munchers (basically, cheese poppers). However, I can't remember if it's just jalapeno inside, or if it also has cheese. Check it out next time you watch a movie! :-)

Tv Food and Drink said...

We love jalapenos. We eat way too many of them. When this entry came up on my computer, I just turned the monitor into Michael's direction and he groaned like I was rubbing his feet with warm oil. Thank you for sharing!

Anne said...

While I was reading your post, I didn't know my kids were hovering at my back and they accidentally saw the very yummy looking sandwich. They kept on chanting "make it!" "make it!" ha! ha! it's not a good idea to surf food blogs while they are around :-)

Meeta K. Wolff said...

OMG! You are such a tease! Now I am totally in need of this! I sometimes add a tomato chutney to the cheese sandwiches! Love the mix of cheeses here too!

Katrina said...

I happened to watch a movie today, so I passed by Taters, *supposedly* to ask if the Mexican munchers are basically the jalapeno poppers they used to have. And yes, they kinda are -- it's deep-fried, crunchy, jalapeno & cheese goodness, Joey! Though, they seem less spicy than before. YES...my original plan to just ask about the ingredients turned into my buying and eating them, too! Just can't resist fried cheese! :-D

ChichaJo said...

Hi Katrina! Loving the French toast version over here :) So now you can add jalapeños and kinda have a jalapeño popper taste at home! The mac n cheese version sounds glorious!! I love sandwiches that have carbs in them (like sandwiches with potato salad in them...be still my heart!)! Great to know Taters still has them...thanks for the heads up! Was this in Glorietta? Must head out there soon...

Hi Gary! Hahaha! Love the description! Glad you enjoyed the post :)

Hi Anne! Haha! Hope you all try it out! :)

Hi Meeta! Tomato chutney sounds awesome! I make an apple chutney that I love to have with brie on toast :)

Junglefrog said...

Ofcourse we could forbid restaurants to change their menu but not sure if that's the solution you're looking for.. ;) This does look like an amazing sandwich and it's making me hungry!

Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings said...

They say that like minds think alike? I just made my own version of B.E.L.T. over the weekend! Your sandwich + my sandwich = plenty of yummy sandwiches!

BettyAnn @Mango_Queen said...

Joey, this photograph looks absolutely amazing. I love how you captured the fiery cheese flavors through your post. What a great combo! I can see why you love it! Must try this soon. Thanks for sharing. Miss you!

anonymous paul said...

great looking sandwich! i'd experiment with other sharp and stinky cheeses as well. but that mozzy and cheddar mix looks perfectly gooey.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Simone! I don't think they would be too happy about that! Heehee :)

Hi Jen! Oooh! Will check it out!

Hi BettyAnn! Thanks! I do love it :) Miss you too! Come visit again soon!!

Hi Anonymous Paul! I'm trying some aged gruyère next!

Zeeona @ Basil and Strawberry said...

This looks so yummy! I sometimes make simple bread slices dipped in egg mixture, but never thought of frying a whole cheese sandwich this way. Thanks!

Laura said...

I too have a jalapeno popper obsession. I like them slathered in sour cream. I am pinning this deliciousness and will immediately start contemplating the best way to add the sour cream! YUM.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Zeeona! Give it a try...not something to do every day but definitely a treat :)

Hi Laura! A kindred soul! Let me know how you add the sour cream...will try that next time!

Adriana @ FoodCocktail said...

It so happens that I have everything I need in order to make these sandwiches, but the bummer is I already ate breakfast today :)) So, I'll postpone it for tomorrow :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Adriana! Hope you enjoyed it :)

Russell van Kraayenburg said...

This is my kind of grilled cheese! I love the jalapeño. Yum!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Russell! We are of like minds! :)

Mrs P Cuyugan said...

WOW! My husband loves spicy food, and I already know this will be a big hit at home. Can't wait to try it!

Patty
http://mrspcuyugan.blogspot.com

frannywanny said...

my sister's like that too! she visits a restaurant, falls in love with a particular dish, goes back several times, in the process she gets addicted to it then suddenly...the dish gets deleted from the menu! haha it happened to her a lot of times already

ChichaJo said...

Hi Patty! Hope you and your husband enjoy this!

Hi Franny! Hayayay...nasty luck :(

Vshaw said...

I never thought of this combination, my son would love this, he is such a huge Grilled Cheese eater. Thanks for this recipe.

Linda had a little Lamb said...

Sounds fantastic, yummy and whatever else is in between. I am a sandwhich lover, so finding more ideas is great. And I think your writing in witty.

Anh said...

Yummm!! I have been eating more toasted sandwich lately! Would love to try this :)

Anonymous said...

This was wonderful!