Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I wasn't even home when my husband prepared these grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. I took my oldest to a birthday party at The JumpYard, a bounce house place near our home. He and my toddler were "on their own" for dinner. My husband's kitchen skills have come a long way since we walked down the aisle. He has expanded his culinary repertoire from mac n' cheese with hotdogs and the Hobo packets (that he learned to make as a boyscout) to include a crock pot nacho dip, the perfect egg sandwich, omelettes, a host of perfected charcoal grilled dinners and now, these grilled cheese and pepper sandwiches. Impressive really, considering that he rarely gets to practice his skills as I totally monopolize our kitchen. From pantry to stove, this room is MY domain. I have learned to bite my tongue when he is in the kitchen. I politely answer questions and NEVER criticize. Far be it from me to squelch his creativity or worse yet, discourage him from volunteering for a household task. Have I mentioned that we have VERY traditional roles in this family? I know...Hello, the 50's called, they want this mentality back...I cook, clean, and handle the bulk of child rearing. He goes to work, cuts the grass, takes out the garbage, changes light bulbs and fixes "stuff". It works for us. This set up plays to our strengths. However, there is room for interpretation. The man can work the stove and washing maching, just like I can operate a bandsaw and torque wrench. We just pretend that we don't know how unless a need arises. : )
The sandwiches are his newest creation. He loves banana peppers, so one day, a couple of months ago, he added them to a grilled cheese sandwich. He kept raving about how the addition of the peppers totally "made" the sandwich and encouraged me to try. I finally gave in. "Mmmm " I complemented. "See?" he prompted. I took a second and a third bite. Then it hit me. "You know what these taste like?" I asked. "No, it's familiar, but I can't put my finger on it." he answered. So I filled him in. "The reason that you love these so much is because they taste a lot like jalapeno poppers." The smile spread across his face as the lightbulb came on. "Oh yeah, that's it." he said. It's true. While the banana pepper is not a jalapeno pepper, they are both members of the chili pepper family. Smothered in the melted cheese and surrounded by the crisp, buttery, grilled bread (like the crispy fried breading of a popper), these bear a strong resemblance to the flavors and textures of the popular appetizer...only they are cheaper and easier to make. Tonight, as I departed for The JumpYard, I pointed to the camera and asked him to make the sandwiches and to take pictures for tonight's post. After all, this IS his recipe.
Here's what you need: sandwich bread (this is whole grain white bread...my husband doesn't "do" wheat bread), American singles, banana pepper rings, and real butter.
To make them, you just butter a slice of bread and put it into a skillet heated over medium high heat. Top with a piece of cheese.
Then arrange some banana pepper rings over the cheese.
Top with another slice of cheese.
And finally, another slice of buttered bread.
Grill to golden brown, crispy perfection. This picture totally made me smile when I downloaded it from the camera. He garnished the plate! Love it!
I have to say, adding the peppers was such a good call! These are delicious. Who knew such a simple little twist on traditional grilled cheese could be SO good?
You can play with this combination in your own kitchen. Maybe spread cream cheese over the bread. Use sliced jalapenos. Ohhh... you know what? ADD BACON! Make your own ultimate jalapeno popper sandwich.
Jalapeno Popper Sandwich courtesy of my husband
2 slices of white sandwich bread
2 slices American cheese
banana pepper slices, 4-6
Spread softened butter onto one side of each bread slice. Place one slice of bread, buttered side down on a heated skillet or griddle. Top with one slice of cheese. Arrange pepper slices over the cheese. Top with another slice of cheese and another slice of bread, buttered side up. Grill both sides until golden brown and cheese is melted.