Grilled cheese sandwiches are an American classic - eating one always brings me back to my childhood, and even as an adult, it's hard to beat a grilled cheese sandwich, served with a bowl of tomato soup (from the can, but ALWAYS made with milk instead of water!).
Up until very recently, grilled cheese sandwiches were relegated to the kids menu at most restaurants. But, in the last few years, there's been a resurgence in grilled cheese popularity thanks to restaurants like Melt Bar & Grilled in Cleveland. Even Birmingham now has a grilled cheese food truck, also called Melt (no affiliation with the one in Cleveland, though).
When it comes to grilled cheeses, though, I've always been a purist. Buttered white bread, American cheese (aka Kraft Singles), cooked in a ridiculous amount of butter and pressed so flat you could slide the sandwich under a door.
Until now, that is. After a particularly long and good run, I was DYING for some jalapeno poppers. I didn't want to buy the frozen ones from the grocery store, and I definitely didn't want to go out to a restaurant for some, especially since I was unshowered and jelly-legged from running. So, after a quick glance at the fridge, I had an epiphany and decided to create a jalapeno popper sandwich.
Side note: I keep typing "pooper" instead of "popper" for some reason.
The key to this grilled cheese is all in the jalapenos. Though I cook with them, I think raw jalapenos are gross, but I LOVE pickled jalapenos. Like with pickled banana peppers (best pizza or sandwich topping EVER), I ALWAYS have a jar of pickled jalapeno peppers in the fridge (so I can make Taco Bell Chicken Quesadillas whenever I want). The cream cheese keeps everything creamy without being too overwhelmingly "cheesy", too!
The measurements here are just an approximation - feel free to adjust to your liking and make this sandwich your own!
Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese
2 slices white sandwich bread
1-2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 slices American cheese
2 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
4-6 pickled jalapeno slices, seeded (use more or less depending on how much heat you like!)
Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Spread melted butter along one side of each piece of bread.
Carefully spread the softened cream cheese atop the "cheese side" of one of the pieces of bread. Pat the jalapeno slices dry and lay them evenly atop the cream cheese. Top with the other slice of bread.
Place the sandwich in the pan and grill, pressing gently, for about 5 minutes or until the bread is browned. Flip and repeat until the other side is browned. Slice and serve hot.