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Back in the day, I saw the Wax Trax Dance version of Ministry and the Jourgensen As Rock God version of Ministry. Both had their merits with the “Every Day Is Halloween” era winning musically while the metal band reincarnation was a far better spectacle. Psalm 69 is actually the last album I regularly listened to as I quickly found subsequent releases repetitive and ultimately failing under the weight of the persona of Mr. Jourgensen.
Grilled cheese is a staple in the BGC house. Much like a tuna sandwich, if I am not feeling particularly inspired or just too tired to really cook, a grilled cheese ends up being a go-to meal. It’s almost impossible to screw up. Sure, you could burn the bread or not melt the cheese enough, but with marginal focus, you have an easy hot meal in just a few minutes.
For this sandwich, I took inspiration from the “hotrod” in the title to go for a deconstructed jalapeno popper. I had made something similar during my professional cooking days but never actually made it at home. Despite the extra bit of prep to make the roasted jalapeno cream cheese, this does not take much more time than a standard grilled cheese.
I am a fan of adding things into my grilled cheese. If really unmotivated, I just eat cheese and grilled bread. For most sandwiches, I like a bit of tomato, roasted pepper, or pickles to give the sandwich an extra punch of flavor. Here – keeping with the jalapeno popper theme – I added pickled jalapenos. Hot peppers, pepperoncini, or roasted jalapenos would also work well.
As mentioned in the tuna melt recipe, I prefer mayo to butter when grilling bread. It tends to burn less and makes for a crisper more golden bread. I add a bit of pecorino to the mayo to get a nice exterior crust adding to the crunch and cheesiness.
CHEESES BUILT MY HOTROD
Roasted jalapeno cream cheese, gouda & pickled jalapeno on sourdough
Makes 2 sandwiches
4 oz. cream cheese softened
2 jalapeño, roasted & finely diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 slices sourdough bread
6 slices gouda
1/4 cup pecorino, fine grate
In a 350°F oven or over an open gas flame, roast jalapenos until the skin is charred. Place in a paper bag or bowl and cover to let steam for ½ hour. Clean off skin and char – stem & seed – dice fine.
In a large bowl, stir together cream cheese, jalapeño, garlic powder, salt, and pepper
Spread mayo one side of each slice of bread and sprinkle with some pecorino. On the other side of one slice, spread a layer of the cream cheese mixture.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add bread with cream cheese mixture, mayo side down. Top with pickled jalapeno and 3 slices gouda. Top with remaining slice of bread, mayo side up.
Cook until melty and golden, 4 to 5 minutes, then flip and cook 5 minutes more.
Repeat for the second sandwich.