Of all the jobs I’ve ever had in my life, I can definitely pinpoint the one I liked the most.
My high school job slingin’ joe at the local coffee shop.
True, being a barista can, at times, feel semi thankless – what with the occasional rude customer and poor tips coupled with a meager wage – but it can also be super rewarding.
Surprising your regular customers by having their order already in the hopper by the time they get up to the counter. Smelling the irresistible, rich scent of coffee beans being fresh roasted every weekend. And, of course, all the free food and drink you could ever want/need/stuff in your face.
Over the 2 and a half years I doled out drinks, I enjoyed dozens of creamy, White Chocolate Mochas, oodles of tart, Raspberry Italian Sodas and pounds of fresh, Cafe Salads.
And plate after plate of Triple Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.
Oh yes. I am telling you – the triple cheese grilled cheese sandwich we used to serve at my coffee shop nearly made my head explode it was so over the top.
Fresh French baguette was split and brushed with olive oil before being sprinkled with salt & pepper. Next, thickly sliced provolone cheese was layered on top, followed by a generous shower of shredded cheddar cheese. A luscious schmear of cream cheese was added before the stuffed sandwich was squeezed shut and pressed to the high Heavens in a piping hot Panini press.
O.M.G. It was senSAYtional!
Fast forward oh…11…12? (sob!) years, and no way I’m going to even attempt to eat that much cheese! Oh, high school me.
What I am willing to do is take TWO cheeses, mix them with tongue-tingling roasted jalapeno peppers and a few other high flavor ingredients, and give that triple grilled cheese sandwich a real run for its money with my Roasted Jalapeno Grilled Cheese Sandwich!
Spicy, creamy, crunchy – this sandwich was off the chain!
I started my grown up grilled cheese by roasting the signature flavor in the sandwich – the jalapenos.
I always thought you needed a gas oven with a flame to roast peppers, but that’s simply not true. Placing them directly under the broiler, and rotating them when their skin started to blister and char, worked like a charm.
Afterwards I stuck ‘em in a tupperware container to steam and soften.
About 5 minutes later the skin easily peeled off the jalapeno, and I was able to lift the seeds right out. Hallelujah – it worked! Too bad I hate bell peppers ’cause this was actually a lot of fun and I sort of want to do it like, allthetime.
Oh also, don’t touch your eyeballs after you handle the jalapenos because I hear it really stings. A lot. And you might cry. But I wouldn’t know anything about that…
Next I chopped the roasted jalapenos and added them to the other star ingredients of my grilled cheese sandwich. The CHEESE.
Softened cream cheese and shredded cheddar, FTW.
Finally I began assembling my grilled cheese by buttering two soft slices of white bread from Great Harvest, then flipping one slice butter-side down.
On went a thick and spicy layer of the roasted jalapeno cheese followed by, wait for it…
A trip to a piping hot skillet rendered my bacon and jalapeno-laced grilled cheese golden brown and gloriously crunchy.
At this point that I started feeling semi guilty over the fact that I was about to feast on butter, bread, cheese and bacon for dinner, so I threw my grilled cheese a bone and added whisper-thin slices of vine-ripened tomato into the hot and gooey middle.
Perfect! The cheese had melted, the sandwich had been grilled, it was time to dive in.
Roasted Jalapeno Grilled Cheese Sandwich
2 fresh jalapenos
1/4 cup reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 vine-ripened tomato, sliced
4 slices cooked bacon
4 slices white bread
1. Place an oven rack directly below the broiler and heat on high. Put the jalapenos on a baking sheet then place them directly under the broiler for 3-4 minutes a side, or until skin is charred all over. Immediately place the jalapenos in a tupperware container to steam until they are cool enough to handle.
2. When the jalapenos have cooled, remove the charred skin and discard the seeds, then dice the flesh.
3. Combine roasted jalapeno, softened cream cheese, and shredded cheddar cheese in a small bowl.
4. Butter one side of all 4 bread slices. Flip 2 slices so they lay butter-side down, then smear on half the cheese & jalapeno mixture on each slice. Layer on bacon, then place the other slice of bread on top, butter-side up.
5. Cook on a flat top skillet until bread is golden brown on both sides.
6. Open sandwich to add tomato slices, and enjoy!
This grilled cheese was epic. Spicy and smoky, but not so hot that you couldn’t taste the creamy cheese and salty bacon. YUMMM!!!
I’m going to milk this whole spicy sandwich thing and have a cup of cooling Blue Bunny All Natural Vanilla Ice Cream for dessert. I bought it for our cake last night, but forgot to get it out.
What a shame I couldn’t share.
What was your favorite job of all time?