If you’re a cheese fan the way I am, and especially a spicy fan, you’re going to love this. I discovered it via the wonderful Joy the Baker (http://joythebaker.com), and became an instant convert. So did everyone else around me. And that was before we added bacon jam to it, and we haven’t even tried the tomato jam on it for the vegetarians. The bacon… raised it to perfection. I’m sure the tomato will do no less.
So, to make this, you need a sourdough loaf, or bread of choice, pepperjack cheese, cream cheese, and jalapenos. That’s it. A little butter is nice, but an olive oil spray or other way to make bread toast better is fine.
First, roast the jalapenos, peel off blackened skins, and dice them. Deseed them if you don’t like spicy, leave the seeds in if you’re like me. Then spread a layer of cream cheese on the bread, and layer with jalapenos.
Top with grated pepperjack. Because pepperjack makes everything better.
Then take the other slice of bread, and spread the bacon jam on it. Or tomato jam. Or savory whatever, or just leave it alone like the recipe says. But if you have bacon jam, USE IT. Because… BACON.
Then butter the outsides of the bread, or spray pam on it, or brush it with olive oil… take your pick. Then grill it, in an oven, in a George Foreman, on a panini press, anything to make it all browned and melty. Mmmm melty.
Once the cheese is leaking out the edges and the top is nice and brown, enjoy. Try not to burn your tongue. Fail. Just like I did.
Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
makes 2 sandwiches
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.