Hot Chile Grilled Cheese

This deconstructed version of a chile relleno turned sandwich packs some heat and an ooey-gooey filling. We like the flavor of sourdough, but any kind of bread will work well.

Ingredients:

  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 1 14-ounce can pinto beans
  • 3 tablespoons prepared salsa
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat plain yogurt
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 slices sourdough bread

Directions:

  1. Place peppers on a broiler pan. Raise the shelf in your oven to its maximum height. Turn the broiler on high. Allow peppers to broil for five minutes or until char covers more than fifty percent of the pepper. Turn the peppers and repeat until all sides are sufficiently charred.
  2. Remove the peppers and place them into a large plastic food storage bag or a bowl covered with plastic wrap.  The heat from the peppers will create steam, further softening the skin and separating it from the pepper’s flesh.
  3. Meanwhile, combine beans, salsa and salt in a medium bowl. Mash the beans with a fork until they begin to form a paste (some can remain whole). Combine cheese, yogurt, scallions and cilantro in a small bowl.
  4. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel the loosened skin from each pepper. Slice each one in half lengthwise and remove the stem and seeds.
  5. Heat a panini maker to high. (No panini maker? See Stovetop Variation, below.)
  6. Spread 1/3 cup of the bean mixture on each of 4 slices of bread. Top with a heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture. Place 2 pepper halves over the cheese. Cover with the remaining slices of bread.
  7. Grill the sandwiches in the panini maker until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Cut in half and serve immediately.

Stovetop Variation:  Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place 2 sandwiches in the pan. Place the medium skillet on top of the sandwiches, then weight it down with the cans. Cook the sandwiches until golden on one side, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, flip the sandwiches, replace the top skillet and cans, and cook until the second side is golden, 1 to 3 minutes more.

hot chile grilled cheese

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