Chile season will begin in mid-August, and I can hardly wait to visit the stands and smell that intoxicating aroma of roasted chiles. It’s almost here and thank goodness for that because my frozen stock is long gone
When I’m out of my stash of New Mexican Hatch I can usually find Anaheim green chiles at the market. But lately I’ve been asked about canned chiles from people who don’t have access to fresh. So I bought a can of mild diced green Hatch brand to give it a try. The first thing I noticed was that familiar pepper-herb smell, and also that they needed to be drained and then patted dry with paper towels so they wouldn’t make the sandwich soggy.
Normally I use plain salted butter to spread on the bread when I am grilling a sandwich, to get that crunchy golden crust. For this recipe I season the butter…..
with coriander, garlic and cumin. This adds a surprise, another level of flavor with every bite.
The first cheesy component to this delicious sandwich is the jalapeno cream cheese filling. Just a reminder — when handling jalapenos be sure to wear gloves or your fingers will get zapped. And definitely don’t rub your eyes or nose. Trust me on this one.
They look so bright and innocent, don’t they?
I mix them into cream cheese to create a schmear. You can also use Neufchatel.
Another layer of flavor with heat, Pepper Jack cheese. Fresh grated melts better, and taste better. Bags of pre-shredded can be dry but will work in a pinch. If you have slices of Pepper Jack, absolutely fine. After distributing the cheese over the chiles, two slices of ham and the top piece of buttered bread finishes the assembly.
Every stovetop is different. My burner dial goes from 1 thru 10. I know that if I set it a smidge below 5 and grill the sandwich for 3 minutes on each side it’ll be perfect. Melted on the inside and crunchy golden outside. Were I using another stove or a new pan I would start lifting up the edge at 2 minutes, to check for that comfy golden color. Also, because the butter has cumin and coriander it’s more brownish gold than if I use plain butter.
Once they’re grilled I carefully lift up the top and add thin slices of tomato…..
……and thin rings of red onion.
A nice accompaniment to this sandwich is guacamole and tortilla chips. And pickles on the side. With a bottle of hot sauce for dipping.
Buen Provecho! xoAmy