May 7, 2012

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese {Crazy Cooking Challenge}

Well hello, GRILLED CHEESE Crazy Cooking Challenge!  What a fun adventure you have been!!  When Tina of Mom's Crazy Cooking announced this month's Crazy Cooking Challenge topic - GRILLED CHEESE - I thought, "Hmmm, how much can we really do with grilled cheese?"  Turns out ... a lot!

I've always pretty much just made your straight-up, regular ol' grilled cheese. I never really thought to change it up much, or thought there could be so many fabulous combinations.  But, whew! ... I have recently been enlightened.  This is one cooking adventure that will continue for me well beyond the monthly Challenge.

For my Challenge entry, I decided to go with this Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese from Simply Scratch.  Excellent choice, if I do say so myself.  Excellent choice.

Now, this grilled cheese is not for the faint-of-heart ... It. Is. Spicy.  The whole roasted jalapenos bring on the heat!  (I did come up with a 'cheater' method, though, that takes out the pepper roasting step and tones the heat down a tad, if desired.  I'll talk about that in just a bit.)

The original recipe calls for roasting jalapenos on the grill.  Well, I didn't feel like going outside and firing up the grill.  I know, I know ... it's not that hard.  But still ... I just didn't feel like it.  So I roasted mine right on the burner of my gas stove top.  Yep, just set 'em right on the burner.  It doesn't roast them quite as evenly as the grill, but it does work!

Once the peppers are good 'n charred, place them in a paper bag for a few minutes.  This lets them steam in their own heat for a bit and makes the skins easier to remove.

Then remove them from the bag and gently peel off the charred skin.  Now, it's recommended that one wear gloves for this step. I didn't have any gloves. So I improvised. With a piece of plastic wrap.

Hmm, I had a little jalapeno 'spillage' onto my hands ... which I discovered that evening when I removed my contact lenses. Can you say ouch? But this sandwich was totally worth it.

Your naked peppers will look about like this:

Split them open with a knife, and carefully remove the seeds and ribs.  If you want extra heat, leave in a few seeds.  But trust me, these puppies are spicy enough even without the seeds!  (Though, I must admit, I did leave a few seeds in the peppers for my husband's grilled cheese.)

To assemble your sandwiches, spread some slices of crusty sourdough with a cream cheese-&-green onion mixture and layer on slices of Colby Jack and the roasted jalapenos.

Grill it up, slice it up, and then enjoy! 

I absolutely loved the creaminess of the cream cheese melted up with the Colby Jack.  Soooo delicious.  Totally yummy deliciousness.  Be forewarned - the jalapenos are spicy ... and I love spicy food.  Still, I'll go with just one pepper on my sandwich going forward (instead of the two I'll put on my hubby's).

Now, I mentioned that I came up with a 'cheater' method for this sandwich.  I loved the roasted jalapenos, but also wanted to see if I could come up with an alternative that skipped that step.  I tried simply dicing up some fresh unroasted jalapeno ... but no deal.  This didn't bring any heat, and just got lost in the cheese without adding much (if any) flavor.

Then I tried diced pickled jalapeno.  Jackpot!  I prepared the sandwich the same as the original, but sprinkled diced pickled jalapeno on top of the cream cheese layer instead of roasting up the fresh jalapenos.  The flavor and heat were back!  A perfect quick-method alternative.

Whichever method you choose, if you like jalapeno poppers - you'll love this grilled cheese sandwich.  Oh, yes.  Yes, you will.

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Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese
Source:  Adapted from Simply Scratch
Makes 3 sandwiches

6 large jalapeno peppers
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 green onions, chopped
Dash of black pepper
6 slices Colby Jack cheese
6 slices sourdough bread

1.  Roast jalapenos on a pre-heated grill or burner of a gas stove top, turning to char all sides.  Place the roasted jalapenos in a paper bag to steam.  After about 10 minutes, remove from the bag and gently peel off the skin.  (It is recommended that you wear gloves for this step.)  Cut off the top of each pepper.  Slice down one side of each pepper and carefully remove the seeds and ribs.

2.  In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, chopped green onion, and black pepper.

3.  Butter one side of each of the bread slices. Flip over three slices of bread and spread the unbuttered side generously with the cream cheese mixture.  Layer on the jalapenos and cheese slices; top with the remaining bread slices, butter side up.

4.  Grill in a heated pan, coated with cooking spray or a bit of butter, until golden browned.

'CHEATER' METHOD:  Omit roasted fresh jalapeno peppers.  Replace with jarred pickled diced jalapenos.  Sprinkle pickled jalapenos, to taste, on top of the cream cheese layer in each sandwich.



  1. Ooey, gooey, and spicy! This looks delicious!

    Come check mine out at #47 :)

  2. Love your choice. Doing this challenge has really opened me to numerous possibilities for a grilled cheese sandwich.

    Gay #50

    1. Seriously!! Who knew there were so many fabulous things to do with grilled cheese?? I have indeed been enlightened.

  3. Absolutely delicious!
    I hate when I don't get all the jalapeno off my hands! OUCH!!!

    Loving all the GC recipes this month! YUM! Happy CCC

  4. Those roasted peppers look amazing! Love this sandwich!

  5. I love jalapeno popper grilled cheese! I definitely want to try this recipe because it's slightly different than our tried and true. It looks absolutely amazing!!

    Stopping by from CCC #7 - stumbled, pinned, Fb'd, tweeted, and voted for your grilled cheese!

  6. This looks so good and I love that you found a different way to grill up those peppers, who wants to fire up the grill for just a few minutes. You got the job done!

  7. wow a popper sandwich my husband would love this one. Thanks for stopping by my blog, I am now following you via GFC glad I found you. Look forward to more recipes #63

    1. by the way that is how I roast red peppers too!! so easy!

    2. Yes, I'm lovin' the gas-burner pepper-roasting method! That's how I'll do it from now on. Thanks so much for following The Kitchen is My Playground!

  8. Yum! Great pics to show off the ooey-gooey-ness of the cheese. Made me want to lick the screen. Thanks for stopping by to comment on my Guinness Corned Beef Grilled cheese.

    1. Thank you, Andrea! I had fun with this photo shoot. :-)

  9. Looks incredible, can't wait to try. Came close to doing a jalapeno popper grilled cheese myself, but I REALLY love bacon, so went that route instead. Thanks for stopping by my blog, #76.

  10. Tracey, this sandwich looks fabulous and you're right, great minds DO think a like!! Thanks for stopping by my Jalapeno Popper GC!! #33

  11. Oh my, look at that cheese oozing out! You got some great shots, it was hard for me to photograph that dang grilled cheese lol! It's past midnight and I could eat about 2 of those right now :)


  12. I really want to try the cheater version with the canned jalapenos! This looks so good. I make jalapeno popper hamburgers and my husband loves them, surely he would love this, too.

  13. I wish I could reach through the screen and grab one of these for lunch!

  14. Oh, how irresistible...loving that gooey cheese!!! Great challenge choice :)

  15. I just love those Jalapeno's, awesome!

  16. That looks delicious! I love jalapeno poppers...don't know if I could go back to regular grilled cheese after this! :)

  17. That looks spectacular. Come over and visit tomorrow. We have a terrific grilled Brie sandwich recipe to share.

  18. That ooey, gooey pic looks amazing! Even at 5AM:@)

  19. CONGRATULATIONS!!! Your Grilled Cheese Sandwich is being featured today on a special "grilled cheese sandwich" round up!
    Thank you for sharing your recipe with us at Cast Party Wednesday #40! ---Sheryl---

  20. This appears to be a popular recipe but I love it!! Yum!

    Jen #40

  21. This is our kind of sandwich, it looks delicious! We are so happy that you linked up to our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday" and we hope you see you back next week!! -The Sisters

  22. So yummy! Thanks for showing us how to roast and skin those peppers! Thanks for joining TUTORIALS TIPS AND TIDBITS!

  23. Just made this..I may never make a regular grilled cheese again!!!!! Whoa nelly these are good!!!!! :)

    1. So glad you enjoyed it, Ashley! Thanks so much for stopping back by to let me know how these turned out for you ... I always love hearing that someone enjoyed a recipe I've posted!


I love your comments. I read and appreciate each and every one. Thank you so much for visiting The Kitchen is My Playground! {NOTE: Captcha word verification is on to turn away the 'spambots' ... I apologize for the commenting inconvenience!}

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