This unique and flavorful twist on grilled cheese relies on a special Hatch Chile hot sauce that needs to be prepared in advance. The extra step and the time involved is well worth the effort. The sauce adds dimension to this cheddar and apple grilled cheese and is also used as a condiment with the grilled cheese and beyond. Think Hatch Chile sauce on burgers or with tacos. Spice up your grilled cheese routine with this kicked up variation.
Yield: 2 sandwiches Difficulty: Medium
Hatch Chile Hot Sauce
2 pounds Hatch chiles
oil (I used canola)
3 whole garlic cloves
1 t salt
1 1/2 C white vinegar
Grilled Cheese makes two sandwiches, double or triple as needed
2 T butter
4 slices bread (I used a local bakery's sourdough)
Spread a thin layer of butter on 1 side of each slice of bread.
Place bread slices butter-side-down on the griddle and cook until golden brown, approximately 3 minutes.
Remove from pan and transfer to a cutting board.
Spread a thin layer of Hatch chile hot sauce on each untoasted side of the bread.
Top each with grated cheese and apple slices and another layer of cheese.
Return bread to the griddle, cheese-side up, and cook until cheese is melted approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
Press the two pieces of bread together, melted cheese sides together. Cut the sandwiches in half - we like them cut diagonally - and serve with more Hatch chile sauce. Enjoy!
Hatch Chile Hot Sauce
Wash and dry your peppers. I cut off the stems and any tips that were bruised.
Place the peppers in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with oil. Toss to coat until they are all glossy and oily.
Place your griddle on the stove and preheat the pan. Place the peppers on the pan.
Cook until the peppers are charred and shriveled. Mine took about 40 minutes. (The skins will be splitting and the flesh completely softened.)
Combine the peppers, garlic cloves, and salt in a blender. Blend for a few pulses. Once the ingredients are roughly combined, drizzle in the vinegar. Blend till smooth.
Transfer sauce to a jar and cover with a cheesecloth. Allow to sit in the pantry; the longer it sits, the deeper the flavor that develops.
We left ours for about 11 days. Blend the sauce smooth again. Test the sauce and adjust the salt to taste. Transfer to bottles or jars and place in the refrigerator. This sauce will keep for 3-4 months.
Camilla crammed a lot of different things into four decades: florist, waitress, SCUBA divemaster, stock photo agency manager, stroller fitness teacher, writer, editor, and au pair. She lived and worked in Rome for 13 months, that's where she learned to cook, visiting the markets, talking to farmers and fishmongers, and pestering them on how to prepare this and that.