Tuesday, June 17, 2014

jalapeño popper grilled cheese sandwiches

Ok guys, I know it's been awhile but I am so excited about this recipe. I wasn't sure what to call this recipe because it has all of the makings of a good jalapeño popper: roasted jalapeños, cheese and bacon but I used pimento cheese instead of cream cheese. I know I know, I fancied up a classic. And I love a classic grilled cheese sandwich with white bread and american cheese but this one was a nice change. I mean the bread is even jalapeño cheddar, it doesn't get much better than that! I made the pimento cheese from scratch but you could totally use store bought pimento cheese to cut down on ingredients and time. I would definitely recommend Whole Foods pimento cheese, it has gouda in it...so good! And despite the 90 degree weather in Charlotte right now, I served these sandwiches with healthy tomato soup and it hit the spot. 

Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
makes 4 sandwiches

for the Pimento cheese: 
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup mayonaisse
1/4 cup pimentos, drained
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 jalapeño, diced (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

for the sandwiches:
10 jalapeños, seeded and cut in half lengthwise
8 slices of thick cut bacon, cooked
8 slices Cheddar Jalapeño bread, sliced (I used La Brea from Harris Teeter)
3 tablespoons butter, softened 

Using an electric mixer, mix together all of the pimento cheese ingredients until well blended. Set aside.

Cook the bacon according to the package instructions and set aside.

Place the jalapeño peppers on a baking sheet with the cut side facing down. Place the baking sheet on the top shelf of the oven and broil the jalapeños until the skin has blackened, about 5 to 9 minutes. Once blackened, place the peppers in a zip-lock bag and cool them for 15 to 20 minutes. Once cooled, remove the blackened skins from the peppers.

Butter the outside of 8 slices of bread and then spread the pimento cheese, jalapeños and bacon on each sandwich. Heat a non-stick grill pan over medium heat and grill each sandwich until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. 

Serve immediately. 

And for my Charlotte friends, La Brea bakery is hosting a sampling tour throughout Charlotte in the month of June where you can get complimentary loaves and coupons so be on the lookout around town! 
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