Hot Pepper Jelly Grilled Cheese
Mess Level: Low
Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 12 min
- 4 oz Taleggio Cheese Or Goat Cheese or Cheddar
- 4 Tablespoons Hot Pepper Jelly (Pepper Lane Brand Sweet Heat is my fave)
- 4 Slices Sourdough Bread
- 4 Tablespoons Softened Butter
- 4-6 Fresh Basil Leaves (Optional)
- Heat a large cast iron skillet or a non-stick pan over medium-LOW heat. If you have a flat griddle that works even better.
- Smear the one side of each piece of bread with softened butter. Take note of which way the bread fits together so your sandwich isn’t lopsided.
- Lay two pieces of the bread, butter side down in the skillet.
- Lay thin pieces of the taleggio, cheddar or goat cheese on one side until the bread is covered (roughly 2oz). Spread a generous layer of hot pepper jelly on the other piece of bread then cover the grilling cheese! You may achieve this by putting a lid on the pan, or if using a griddle, take smaller pan lids and put a lid over each piece of bread.
- Let it grill until the cheese is melty, checking occasionally to make sure the bread isn’t burning. The key here is patience, if you turn your heat up too high the bread will burn and the cheese won’t melt.
- Once the cheese is melty, chiffonade the basil leaves and stick them to the melty cheese, then close the sandwich (careful, it will be hot!) and remove from the pan.
- Slice the grilled cheese in half and repeat with the other sandwich! You can hold the first grilled cheese in a 170-degree oven, uncovered to keep it warm while the other cooks. Enjoy!
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What is a chiffonade?
- Yes, it's one of those fancy French tricks...
(pronounced “shiff-a-nod”) A fancy term meaning to stack several herb leaves, roll them into a log, and slice across the log. This gives you nice little ribbons of herb leaves.
Do I have to use the cheeses in this recipe?
- Not at all... Just lay off the hard stuff!
As long as you have some kind of melty cheese you’re good to go! Mozzarella, Colby, Pepper Jack... The cheese counter is your oyster. Especially if you make friends with the cheesemonger working it!
Why should I cover the grilled cheese?
- Less burning, more melting...
Covering traps the heat. Trapping the heat means it's hotter all the way around so the cheese on top of the sandwich will get melty faster!
Ramblings of a Line Cook
The cheese counter is full of expensive cheeses with names that are hard to pronounce. But I befriended the cheesemonger (the guy who works the cheese counter) at my local King Soopers and suddenly a world of cheese opened up to me. He always listens to whatever I’m making that day and then gets really excited to recommend some cheeses to go with it, sometimes even cutting me off a little sample of cheese if it’s a really interesting one.
He also pointed out the hot pepper jelly that sits at eye level on top of the display case and ever since I keep going back for more like a hopeless addict. Gosh darn it that stuff is good! One night, I put it on a grilled cheese and I do believe the world stopped for a moment in honor of this creation.
Hot pepper jelly is addicting, it’s spicy and sweet and when you add some perfectly melty cheese on some buttery, crusty bread, you will feel like a goddess… But by no means does a grilled cheese have to be fancy, sometimes plain ole, shredded cheddar is the way to go. So make this grilled cheese however you please but do so with fair warning that you will likely be addicted to hot pepper jelly from here on out.