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Add Jalapeño Poppers To Grilled Cheese For An Explosion Of Flavor

Stacked jalapeño popper grilled cheese sandwich
Stacked jalapeño popper grilled cheese sandwich - mifreshforage/Instagram

The simplistic beauty of a grilled cheese sandwich is part of what makes it such a masterpiece. Cheese and bread have no right to be this delicious when combined and griddled, yet somehow they are. But the simplicity of the sandwich also makes it a perfect playground for all types of additions and alterations, and luckily, the two basic ingredients happen to be the types to play well with others. Adding things like bacon or tomatoes has been standard practice in the grilled cheese world for a long time, but throwing jalapeño poppers into the mix provides a next-level boost of flavor. But it does.

Why? Well, for starters, the inherent spice of the peppers gives an ample kick to the sandwich, and the opportunity to add a different cheese from the filling enhances the richness and overall depth of flavor, as well the texture, all with minimal effort required. It's an experiment well worth trying.

Read more: 11 Of The Best Cooking Tips From Bobby Flay

Popping It All Together

Jalapeño poppers in a white bowl
Jalapeño poppers in a white bowl - bonchan/Shutterstock

When it comes to making a jalapeño popper grilled cheese sandwich, you can start with fully-prepared classic jalapeño poppers (as in breaded, deep-fried jalapeños filled with cheese), or you could opt for the deconstructed version and simply compile the ingredients that would be in a standard jalapeño popper. One advantage to using a fresh, fully-prepared jalapeño popper is that it contains a brilliantly crispy breading which adds a texture not easily recreated with the deconstructed version (crisp, buttery bread notwithstanding).

When using fully prepared jalapeño poppers, you'll want to slice them up beforehand, as they will distribute better throughout the sandwich and eliminate the chance of biting into a full popper and having it explode with searing hot cheese. If you're going the deconstructed route, consider roasting the jalapeños before adding them to your sandwich like Food Network star (and "Sandwich King" host) Jeff Mauro, who showcased the creation on an episode of "The Best Thing I Ever Made," saying, "The beauty of this sandwich is you can bring as much heat to the party as you want." Indeed, you can adjust the spice level by keeping or ditching the seeds. Roasting the peppers also helps to bring out some of their sweetness, a nice counterpoint to the sandwich's inherent richness, saltiness, and heat.

Upping Your Grilled Cheese Game

A bacon-wrapped grilled cheese sandwich
A bacon-wrapped grilled cheese sandwich - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

One of the key elements to the best grilled cheese sandwich is the proper blending of cheeses. At least two varieties should be used, as the flavors will meld together adding complexity to the overall taste. While Jeff Mauro opts for mascarpone and cheddar, you can use any soft and melty cheeses, from traditional cream cheese to tangy fresh goat cheese, from mozzarella to Monterey jack and even parmesan. Add whichever combination you like, but be aware of their strengths — something like a blue cheese can easily overpower everything else if not used sparingly.

Although jalapeño poppers alone will add plenty of kick to your grilled cheese game, there are other clever ways to put mouthwatering spins on a classic grilled cheese that will knock it into the stratosphere. Simple additions like avocados, roasted mushrooms or asparagus are a great way to add vegetal freshness, and a dab of hot sauce here and there is always your friend, too. Or if you want to really get wild, just bacon-wrap your improved grilled cheese and marvel at the results.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.