Sharp New York Cheddar cheese is layered between sourdough bread and smeared with a tomato-chipotle spread to kick up these grilled cheese sandwiches.
For these sandwiches, we put the sliced cheese on top of to the bread, then the other ingredients on top of that, and we finish with more sliced cheese. When the sandwich is grilled the cheese melts completely, enclosing the other fillings. To get the right texture, you’ll need a sandwich grill that compresses the sandwiches as they cook, or one large skillet and a heavy pot that will fit inside the skillet to sit on top of the sandwiches. Serve them hot off the grill to enjoy them while the cheese is still soft and the bread is still crusty.
Grilled Cheddar Cheese Sandwich
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 15 M
- Makes 4 sandwiches
Place the tomato paste, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, and molasses in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.
Taste the pepper spread so you’ll know how spicy it is, and spread each slice of bread with as much of the pepper mixture as you’d like. We use about 1 tablespoon per slice.
On each of 4 slices of bread, place 1 1/4 slices of cheddar cheese, then place 2 to 3 tomato slices on the cheese. Top with a few thin rings of sliced red onion and a tablespoon of chopped cilantro. Place 1 1/4 more slices of cheese on each sandwich. Place another slice of bread, pepper spread side down, on top of each sandwich.
If you have a sandwich grill, heat the sandwiches following the manufacturer’s instructions until the bread is toasted and the cheese has begun to melt. If you don’t have one, place a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Put the sandwiches in the pan and weight them down with a clean, heavy pot. When the bread has begun to toast and brown, 1 to 2 minutes, flip the sandwiches over and toast the other side. Serve immediately.
Tips and Techniques
Canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce can be found in stores that carry a selection of authentic Latin ingredients. They are very spicy so a little goes a long way. After you have opened the can, you can transfer the remaining peppers and sauce to a resealable container and freeze them for later use.
Presliced sharp cheddar is packed with ten slices per 8-ounce package. Use 1 1/4 slices per bread slice to get the proper proportion.
We suggest slicing the bread thickly so that when the sandwich is pressed on the grill the bread still has some body. Thinner slices of bread will be paper thin after they have been pressed.