Sunday, September 18, 2011

jalapeno popper inspired grilled cheese

You know what's fun? Going to Jean-Talon Market. There are all kinds of exciting things there - I bought tiny zucchini, rhubarb (hurray!), heirloom carrots and tomatoes... I even bought a purple pepper. Yes. It looks like a green pepper, except it's purple. Really. I can't even begin to tell you about my level of excitement in places like this. If I could somehow make a career of going to public markets and ogling everything, I would be happy as a clam.

I always bring home jalapeno peppers because I know that even if I have nothing planned, I will find a use for them. When I saw a post on Closet Cooking with a recipe for this sandwich, I knew that nothing would stop me from recreating it. Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. Kevin invented the jalapeno popper grilled cheese.

My love of jalapeno poppers goes back many years, originating with Pepitas. They served their own homemade poppers, which they called armadillo eggs. They were crispy, creamy, lightly spicy and had that wicked jalapeno flavour. These were my gateway to the more commercialized poppers (which are sadly now served at Pepitas. As delicious as they are, they don't come close the original armadillo eggs of yore).

I recognise that jalapeno poppers are hideously unhealthy. They are full of preservatives and have certainly had any possible nutritional value processed out of them. So let's try them in grilled cheese form!

This is another one of those recipes without a recipe. If you click the link below, you can use Kevin's measurements as a guide, but I think that a sandwich is one of those things that defies measurement. However, I found that one sandwich took 2-3 peppers, depending on the size of the bread. My bread was big. Also, be generous with tortilla chips - I didn't notice them at all and wished there were more. Also, Kevin suggests peeling the peppers after they've been broiled. I attempted this and it didn't work very well, which probably means I should have left them in for longer. In any case, they were very soft and I didn't notice the peel at all, but my peel wasn't full on blackened.

jalapeno popper inspired grilled cheese
From Closet Cooking.

jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise, well-seeded and scraped of white stuff
sourdough bread
grated jack and cheddar cheese
cream cheese (I used Liberté, Winnipeg or Victoria style would also be v.g.)
crumbled tortilla chips

Preheat your oven to broil at 450ºF. Place peppers on a foil lined baking sheet. Broil until skins are blistered and darkened. Mine took the full 14 minutes. I swear, my oven has multiple personalities. If you intend to peel them, cool them down.

Butter the outsides of your bread, then begin assembling your sandwich! Spread a generous amount of cream cheese on one side of the bread. Layer with peppers, then crushed tortilla chips. Load with cheese.

Preheat a pan to just below medium. Cook with cover until underside is golden brown, then flip and repeat. Serve immediately.

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