Grilled cheese night usually means two things: 1) I’m too lazy, or tired, or lazy, or really lazy to cook a “real” dinner and 2) rehashing of the now 8-year-old debate over which cheese makes a “real” grilled cheese sandwich.
One of us expects slices of school bus yellow-orange processed cheese food, which melts beautifully and oozes out of the sandwich in picture-perfect drips. The other expects pricey, in-store, hand-made fresh mozzarella, which melts beautifully and oozes out of the sandwich in picture-perfect drips.
You might be a little surprised, but I am the processed cheese food lover of the house.
Whenever I mention grilled cheese, I get The Look. (And I’m betting you know the one.) It’s quickly followed up with an eyeroll, a sigh, and then a request: “Will you please buy real cheese this time?”
So I bought real cheese. Two real cheeses: horseradish white cheddar and Monterrey Jack. And then I proceeded to make a white pimento cheese using hatch chiles after not being able to think of anything else for like 3 days. I owe that to my friend Liz, who also is responsible for my new
two-three-four-episodes-a-night Castle habit. Which, technically, would also mean that she’s the one to blame for the mountain of clean laundry on my bedroom floor bed. Yeah, let’s go with that.
But back to grilled cheese. Melty cheese and hatch chiles that ooze out of the sandwich in picture-perfect drips.
Hatch Chile Pimento Cheese
The Southern classic gets a summer makeover with hatch chiles. And then it's grilled between slices of crusty white bread for the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich.
- For the pimento cheese:
- 4 oz Monterrey Jack
- 4 oz white cheddar (white horseradish cheddar will give it a nice kick)
- Dash of Worcestershire
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 hatch chiles, roasted, seeded, and chopped (directions here)
- 1/4-1/3 cup light mayo (I sub half with fat-free Greek yogurt)
- For the sandwiches:
- Sliced bread
- If using a food processor, use the blade to shred the cheese.
- Remove a handful of cheese from the bowl and set aside.
- Switch to the chopper blade and add the garlic clove, 1/4 cup of mayo, a dash of Worcestershire, and a pinch of salt and pepper and process 8-10 seconds.
- Return the shredded cheese to the bowl along with the hatch chiles, and pulse 3-4 times.
- Store in the fridge, will keep a week plus.
- If not using a food processor, grate the cheese and finely mince the garlic.
- Stir the minced garlic, Worcestershire, and mayo together with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Finely dice the roasted red pepper and add it to the bowl along with the cheese.
- Stir until thoroughly combined and then take fork and mash the cheese until you reach desired consistency.
- For the sandwiches, heat a skillet or grill pan over medium-high.
- Assemble the sandwiches and butter the outsides of the bread.
- Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown and the cheese is melting down the sandwich in picture-perfect drips.
Yields: ~1 1/2 cups
Estimated time: 20 minutes