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Chipotle Spiced Grilled Cheese + A Giveaway

by Nick

In my mind, the grilled cheese is much like pizza. It seems simple enough, but there are some tricks to it which become immediately apparent if you’ve ever had a fantastic one or tried to make a great one.

At the same time, it’s pretty hard to make a terrible one.

I’ve been leafing through the new cookbook by Meagan Micozzi (Scarletta Bakes) called The New Southwest. This cookbook was really up my alley because I’m from New Mexico originally and that style of food is one of my top three.

I bookmarked a bunch of recipes I want to try but let you guys vote on the one I would make this week. It was actually a tie, so I broke the tie by asking the question: Are you a grilled cheese? If the answer is yes, then you win the tiebreaker.

So here we are!

Yield
4 sandwiches
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Chipotle Spiced Grilled Cheese

Ingredients

  • Chipotle Mustard:
  • 1 cup yellow mustard seed
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seed
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar + a dash
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground chipotle chile (or 1 Tbsp. flakes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • For sandwiches:
  • 8 plum tomatoes, roasted
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 8 thick slices bread
  • 8 ounces mild cheese

Helpful Equipment

Directions

1) For mustard, bring vinegar and water to a slight simmer in a small pan, then pour over mustard and cumin seeds. Let sit overnight at room temperature.

2) Add soaked seeds to a food processor with a dash of fresh vinegar. Add other mustard ingredients and pulse until it resembles a coarse paste. Use mustard immediately or store in the fridge for a few weeks.

3) To make sandwich, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices and lay out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4) Bake tomatoes for 60-75 minutes until they are crinkled and browned around the edges. Most of the moisture should be evaporated.

5) Meanwhile, stir together honey and butter.

6) To make a sandwich, slather one piece of bread with honey butter and place buttered-side down in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Top with a good spread of the chipotle mustard mixture, a few slices of cheese, and a handful of roasted tomatoes. Top with a second piece of bread and spread the top of the sandwich with honey butter.

7) Cook sandwich for 3-4 minutes per side until bread is toasted and cheese is just melted. Serve immediately!

Recipe from The New Southwest.

A Mustard Paste

This sandwich definitely wins the award for the most time I’ve spent making a grilled cheese sandwich thanks to making mustard from scratch. It was worth it in my opinion because I’m a mustard lover, but I think you could get away with stirring a few teaspoons of chipotle pepper spice into your favorite stone-ground mustard and be in decent shape.

Anyway, assuming you want to go all the way, you’ll need a lot of mustard seeds.

A mustard base.

A mustard base.

Soak the mustard seeds and coriander seeds in hot vinegar and water (I just heated them until they were steaming). Heating them means you only have to soak the mustard for a day instead of two days. It speeds up the process a bit.

Overnight Soak

Overnight Soak

After a day of soaking at room temperature, add the other mustard ingredients to the soaked seeds along with this stuff:

The heat!

The heat!

I used crushed, but you could also use ground. If you use ground, use less of it since it will do a better job of distributing through the mustard.

Add everything to a food processor and start pulsing it until it resembles a coarse paste. You could add some water or a drizzle of extra vinegar to this if you want to thin it out, but I very much liked it as a thick paste.

It’s mustard that requires a knife.

Mustard mixed.

Mustard mixed.

Making the Sandwich

So the mustard takes a day and the next topping takes over an hour. Again, this may sound like a lot of work for a grilled cheese sandwich, but stay with me people.

This topping is slow-roasted plum tomatoes. In my opinion, these completely make the sandwich. All you have to do is slice them into 1/4-inch slices and lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake them at 350 degrees F. for 60-75 minutes.

Not bad romas for December...

Not bad romas for December…

The end result will be these crinkled beautiful things that are slightly sweet and salty and possibly the perfect sandwich add.

Caramelized!

Caramelized!

While all this is happening, mix some honey in with some unsalted butter. As opposed to the tomatoes and mustard, this takes approximately 30 seconds.

Yum.

Yum.

When your mustard is done and your tomatoes are roasted, spread some of that delicious honey butter on a piece of bread and stick it, buttered-side down in a cold skillet.

Smear on some of that mustard paste (use a heavy hand). Then add some cheese slices. You can use any cheese really. I used some colby jack that I had in the fridge, but any cheddar would work as well. The original recipe calls for Chihuahua cheese which I couldn’t find.

Go thick on the mustard.

Go thick on the mustard.

Top with a handful of the roasted tomatoes and the other piece of bread.

Boom.

Boom.

Cook this sucker over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes per side. The biggest mistake people make with grilled cheeses is cooking them too hot which will burn the bread before the cheese is melted.

This is about perfect!

Careful on the cooking heat!

Careful on the cooking heat!

This sandwich is messy and delicious. The chipotle flavor is actually kind of subtle but pairs really nicely with the sweet tomatoes and honey flavors on the bread.

And the good news? You’ll probably have some mustard paste left over which you can put on damn near anything.

Screen shot 2013-12-11 at 6.00.36 PMThe Giveaway!

I like this book a lot. It has some standard Mexican recipes (like tortillas and salsa), but also ramps them up a bit using some modern touches. Plus, the photos are beautiful and recipes well-written and easy to follow.

I’m giving out two copies of the book to you lovely readers! Just leave a comment answering what your favorite Mexican food is and I’ll pick two comments at random a week from today (12/19).

Good luck and happy grilled cheesing!

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57 comments on “Chipotle Spiced Grilled Cheese + A Giveaway

  1. while down in FL last month we ate a a great little restaurant and had some shrimp ceviche that was delicious so right now that is my favorite food. Ask me next week it will be something different I am sure.

  2. This sandwich sounds so delicious! As far as my favourite Mexican food… tough choice! My husband makes great salsa, I make a mean chicken & lime soft taco, & I adore beans… especially black!!!

  3. Hmm I would say beef Tacos with all the sides to go with them. but I have to make everything homemade in order for them to be the way I like them.

  4. That grilled cheese looks amazing!! If I’m eating Mexican food, I would be happy with a huge bowl of chips and as much salsa and guac I can eat. :)

  5. Being from Texas we love our Tex-Mex and I have to say tamales are one of my favorites! We just got back 16 dozen from a family friend whom we gave 20 lbs of venison to so they could make the tamales for us.

  6. The sandwich looks FAB! I’m going to make one, but will probably use the shortcut you mentioned by adding the chipotle pepper to prepared stone-ground mustard. I think I would also place the tomatoes between the slices of cheese to better hold the sandwich together.

    As for favorite Mexican food; I love it all, but my favorite would probably be cheese enchilladas with chili verde. The other favorite would have to be tequila! (That is a food, isn’t it?) ;)

  7. The Mexican food I LOVE is a good chimichanga. Deep fried tortilla filled with meat? Ain’t nothing wrong with that. Though I’ve been craving a glass of horchata lately. I can’t seem to find it at any Mexican restaurant anymore. I guess I’ll have to make a batch myself (and probably drink it all at once)

  8. I love tortas- they’re probably my favorite. Especially the pork ones- such a delicious sandwich!

  9. My favorites probably aren’t traditional Mexican foods, but I love the salsa I make at home, freshly cooked flour tortillas and grilled shrimp tacos with shredded cabbage and chipolte sour cream.

  10. I love the flavors and colors of everything, but there’s a little taco stand down the street from me that does the best fish tacos. I don’t know what their secret sauce is for the fish tacos but they keep everything simple and use good ingredients. I also can’t say no to a good chile relleno!

  11. I’m a sucker for Mexican-style grilled corn. I, of course, love to eat it fresh on the cob, but it also is great to cut off and sprinkle on salads or turn into relish the day after it’s cooked. It rarely lasts longer than that in my house.

  12. My family favorite are veggie burritos. Easy and adaptable for all the different food requirements that our family has.

  13. This sandwich looks great. I can’t wait to try it.

    As far as my favorite mexican food goes; tacos. My wife and I have taco night every Thursday.

  14. pechugas de pollo! i haven’t had some in a looong time! god, it’s such a good dish. *mouth is watering*

  15. Can I just pick one I really, really like? Because pretty much all Mexican food is my favorite! If I *had* to pick, it would probably be tacos because they’re difficult to mess up and you can get a decent one, even at a less-than-stellar restaurant.

  16. Wow, my favorite Mexican food. I love a good chili rellino. Also, fresh hot salsa! The Chipotle spiced grilled cheese looks outstanding!

    I so appreciate the post 50 gifts under 50! You saved me! Thanks!

  17. I love anything with avocado, anything spicy, and anything vegetarian. Black bean enchiladas are a favorite, with guacamole of course!

  18. I love all sorts of Mexican food, lately I’ve been making a lot of fish tacos. Thanks for the giveaway.

  19. Tamales. I’ve tried to make them a couple times and they never turn out as great as the ones I pick up at the farmers market, but they are truly my favorite.

  20. It’s so hard to pick my favourite Mexican food! At the minute, I’d say tacos with all the fixin’s :)

  21. My favorite Mexican foods are really the only three things I know how to make: carnitas, posole, and chicken totilla soup. Though I suppose the last one is Tex-mex.
    I live in TX, but I was raised back East, so I really don’t know much about Southwestern cuisine other than what I’ve read online.

  22. I’ve been on a real chicken fajita nachos kick lately, just can’t beat the combination!

  23. A simple taco. Ever been to Tacos Junior in SW Denver? Right near my house and it’s cheap and yummy. We love their tacos. I really like tamales too. Oh Denver.

  24. My favorite is chile rellenos.
    It’s also the dish I use to test a new restaurant or kitchen. If they don’t make a good chile relleno, chances are they’re not very good at anything else.

  25. Hard to pick just one, tacos, sopas, fajitas, good salsa with tortilla’s, and can’t wait to try your ‘grilled guac’ looks so good. I just love food. Spanish; (Cuban, Puerto Rican, Mexican, South American), Polish, Asian; (Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, & including Middle Eastern), German, American, Grecian, Native American; guess you have the point. It was great being married (long time ago!) to military, where you meet people from all over the world. A great thing for those who love to cook. I love cooking, inventing, baking, etc. I love cookbooks, recipes, how to’s, etc. I used to have about a million recipes. I love your site. I am a newbie to it, a few hours now, and can’t wait to play! :D

  26. Damn. Grilled cheese is always a win in my book.

    I’m making my first posole today, so we’ll see if it becomes my new favorite Mexican dish.

  27. My favorite is chile rellenos, but I’m mad about enchiladas, tacos, and fajitas. Really, just about anything involving the word tortilla.

  28. Love the way you write about food. Fresh fish sauteed in garlic/lime/butter just like they do at El Pescador. And this cookbook you recommend sounds terrific.

  29. Just moved from Southern Louisiana to Southern Arizona. I can cook a mean gumbo but the Southwest style of cooking scares me to death. I don’t really have a favorite Mexican dish as I don’t know what to try. I don’t know what a dish is supposed to taste like, so I can’t tell if it is good or not. I love spicy foods so the heat doesn’t worry me. I love all the farmer’s markets in my area, and there are a lot of grass fed meats and poultry available. I accidently found your web site and am enjoying your approach to cooking. I am looking forward to trying a lot of your recipes.

  30. Don’t worry! Just follow the recipes and try some simple ones to start. The best advice I can give is to “first, make a roux” (old Louisianna saying)! Don’t make it harder than it is. The biggest mistake most people make is having the heat too high. Medium heat is fine for a roux…equal parts fat (oil, butter, lard, etc.) and flour. That’s the basis for most Cajun recipes (but not all). Just have fun in the kitchen!

    1. I’m sure you know all that. Now…just incorporate the same techniques into the South Western cooking. Different spices, etc., but the same techniques. Most of the ingredients are the same, as well, but in different proportions.

  31. Have you tried making your grilled cheeses with coconut oil? I find it way easier to get the cheese melted without burning the bread. Seriously comes out perfect every time, and the coconut flavor doesn’t really come through.

  32. I love chalupas. I appreciate your comment about coconut oil—-I’ll try it next time.

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