Grilled cheese is just classic. What’s not to love about it? Two toasted buttered slices of bread hugging creamy, glorious cheese. Sigh. I could eat grilled cheese pretty much any time, any day.
If you really think about it though, grilled cheese is like a blank canvas. You can do so much with it. I love seeing creative grilled cheese creations on menus, on blogs, in magazines. One of the best grilled cheeses I had was a couple of years ago at a restaurant in Napa that I just adored named Hurley’s. We arrived into town very late, and they were the only restaurant still open, well, their bar was. I ordered a simple grilled cheese and out came a plate with grilled ciabatta bread filled with mozzarella, tomato and pesto and sprinkled with sea salt. I fell in love.
I’m totally rambling because this grilled cheese has nothing to do with Hurley’s grilled cheese. It does support my notion though, that grilled cheese can be as simple or as extravagant as you want it to be…and this Kicked Up Grilled Cheese with Jalapenos fits about perfectly in between.
sliced whole wheat or white bread
block mild cheddar cheese, shredded
fresh jalapenos, seeded and sliced
red onion, sliced thin
salt and pepper to taste
In a warm skillet coated with cooking spray, add sliced onions and cook over medium heat until they start to soften, about 10 minutes. Add sliced jalapenos and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper. Set aside and carefully clean out skillet with a paper towel.
Place shredded cheddar on 1 slice bread. Spread 1 tablespoon caramelized onions and jalapeno mixture on top of cheese and top with a little more shredded cheese, then another slice of bread. Spread a very thin layer of butter on both outer sides of sandwich.
Spray a nonstick skillet or griddle with cooking spray (optional) and heat until hot. Place sandwich on griddle. Lower heat to medium-low and grill until underside is a deep brown but not burnt and cheese is partially melted, about 5 to 6 minutes. Carefully flip sandwich and grill other side, an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Slice in half and serve hot.
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