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Recipe: Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

 

Is there a better comfort food than a great grilled cheese sandwich? Maybe. I think fried chicken and macaroni and cheese come pretty close. During a recent football party, I put together a grilled cheese menu and this one, the Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich, was my favorite.

Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Assembling the Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

This grilled cheese uses Cheddar, cream cheese, jalapeño strips (all the ingredients in a jalapeño popper) and bacon. Why hasn’t anyone thought to add bacon to jalapeño poppers? That’s a mystery. Anyway, this is super easy to make and quick.

Ingredients:

  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and cut into strips
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 10-12 pieces of nice crusty bread, cut along the bias
  • 4 TBSP cream cheese
  • 4 TBSP salted butter, melted
  • 1/2 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, sliced
Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Unsalted butter is a necessity when grilling sandwiches.

Directions:

  1. Preheat a panini press, griddle, grill or skillet.
  2. Spread cream cheese on one slice of bread.
  3. On another, place two slices of Cheddar cheese.
  4. Lay three or four jalapeño strips on the cream cheese side.
  5. Sprinkle bacon on top of cream cheese side.
  6. Place cheddar cheese side, cheese down on top of the cream cheese side.
  7. Brush melted butter on top of sandwich and place buttered side down on the panini press.
  8. Brush top side with melted butter.
  9. Shut panini press and grill four to five minutes or until Cheddar cheese is melted. Alternately, flip sandwich after two or three minutes if using a griddle, grill or skillet.
  10. Cut in half then serve.
Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Use a panini press to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

You may think this Jalapeño Popper Grill Cheese Sandwich recipe is spicy, but to me, fresh jalapeños aren’t too spicy. Especially, when compared to pickled jalapeños. The peppers give the sandwich a nice crunch.

Be sure to pick a nice bread that won’t fall apart. I used a jalapeño-Cheddar bread from my local Whole Foods and it was perfect. Try this sandwich next time you need some good ‘ol fashioned comfort food.

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Posted by on June 7, 2017 in Appetizers, Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Sloppy Joe Banh Mis

Sloppy Joe Banh Mi

Sloppy Joe Banh Mi

I wish I could claim this sandwich invention as my own, but I have to give credit where credit is due. And all the credit in the world goes to Tracey Bloom for this delicious creation.

This is such a great twist on an American favorite and a Vietnamese favorite. I may have to try and convince a local Vietnamese eatery to put this on the menu.

Ingredients:

For Sloppy Joe portion

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 TBSP rice wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire
  • 1 TBSP dijon mustard
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP Sriracha
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

For Banh Mi Garnishes

  • Pickled onions (1 cup onions, 1 cup water, 1 cup red vinegar, 1 cup sugar or honey)
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, sliced thin
  • 1 daikon or radish, sliced thin
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 bunch of cilantro

Tracey Bloom

Chef Tracey Bloom


Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, saute ground beef and onions.
  2. When ground beef is about half-cooked, add the rest of the Sloppy Joe ingredients and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Spoon Sloppy Joe mixture into French bread (or another bread) and garnish with remaining fresh ingredients.

You may recognize Tracey from season 7 of Bravo’s Top Chef. Tracey lives in Atlanta, but I was lucky enough to get to know her at last year’s ACS Hope Gala where she made an awesome shrimp ceviche on a fried plaintain chip. She’ll be back again this year so email me if you’re interested in tickets.

If you want to read more recipes and food tips from Tracey, be sure and check out her articles on NorthFulton.com here. And if you have questions for her, leave them in the comments section and I will get her to answer them.

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Review: St. James Cheese Company

Beecher's Cheddar

Beecher's Cheddar

I’m spoiled when it comes to good cheese thanks to St. James Cheese Company being located only two blocks from my house. It’s always a treat to stop in whether it’s for lunch or to pick up some cheese.

Another big reason for a visit is the weekly cheese classes. For $20, you get six samples of cheese and six sample glasses of wine (or beer). It’s a great deal, plus, it’s educational.

Aside from the great weekly classes, the prepared food is another highlight for St. James Cheese Company. On my last visit, I had the Beecher’s Cheddar, a smoked turkey sandwich on ciabatta with fresh basil, tomato and avocado. I got mine with no tomato, but it’s a a great sandwich with come complex flavors that come from simple ingredients.

One of the best salads is the Manchego. It’s a bed of arugula with almonds and pear with a quince vinaigrette. It’s probably my second favorite salad to the summer salad that comes with prosciutto and peaches.

Manchego Salad

Manchego Salad

The Ploughman’s Lunch is another great option that gets you a little bit of everything: three cheeses, pork pie, salad, bread and chutney. It’s one of the best things on the menu.

If you only stop in to grab and go, this is your place for cheese. In fact, the best cheese I’ve ever had came from St. James Cheese Company. Called Humboldt Fog, a goat’s milk cheese that described as “creamy and luscious with a subtle tangy flavor.” If you can’t decide on a cheese, just ask one of the cheesemongers for advice and they’ll hook you up with one appropriate for you event or wine pairing.

St. James Cheese Company really has it all when it comes to cheese. Whether you stop in for lunch, to grab and go, or for a cheese class, you’ll leave satisfied and with a full belly.

St. James Cheese Company is located at 5044 Prytania St. in Uptown New Orleans. Their hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Fri. and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun.

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2011 in Eatin'

 

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Recipe: Chicken Thigh Banh Mi

Banh Mi Toppings

Banh Mi Toppings

With apologies to 99% of the delis in America, the best sandwiches out there are Vietnamese-style banh mis. They’re loaded with fresh veggies, herbs and meat plus a spicy blast of sriracha.

The traditional variety of banh mis have pate, but I didn’t have any so I made a more Americanized version. I also combined the Sriracha with the mayonnaise to make a single spread.

Ingredients

  • 2 baguettes
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cooked
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1 carrot, finely julienned
  • 1/4 of an onion, cut into thin slivers
  • 4 TBSP fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, finely julienned
  • 2 TBSP mayonnaise
  • 1/2 TBSP Sriracha
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP sweet vinegar (such as cane vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
Chicken Thigh Banh Mi

Chicken Thigh Banh Mi

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine mayo and sriracha, mixing well.
  2. In a small skillet, heat olive oil and vinegar over medium heat. Saute carrots and onions for until carrots are darkened, but not soggy and onions are translucent. Set aside.
  3. Slice open baguettes horizontally, but do not slice all the way through.
  4. Spread Sriracha mayo on top and bottom halves of baguettes.
  5. Place chicken equally on both baguettes then layer evenly with carrots, onions, jalapeños and cucumbers. Finally, top each sandwich with fresh cilantro. Close the sandwiches and serve.

These sandwiches aren’t 100% up to par with what you’ll find in most Vietnamese bakeries, but they will do in a pinch. Thankfully, they aren’t time-intensive at all.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy the freshness of the veggies and herbs as a change-up to the typical sandwiches you find out there. You can also substitute the meat of your choice in place of the chicken thigh meat.

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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