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Grilled Cheddar-Jalapeño Popper Sandwich

Two halves of grilled cheddar jalapeno popper sandwich stacked on top of each other
This grilled Cheddar and jalapeño popper sandwich is stuffed with cream cheese, chile pepper, garlic, cumin, sharp Cheddar, and bacon. Just like those irresistible poppers you down with beer except in an over-the-top rich and gooey sandwich sorta way.
Claire Thomson

Prep 30 mins
Total 30 mins
Lunch
American
4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 7 ounces cream cheese preferably full-fat, at room temperature
  • 1 to 2 jalapeños or other green chile peppers seeds and membranes removed if desired*, finely chopped (see NOTE above)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin to taste
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 8 slices sturdy white bread such as sourdough or rustic white
  • 8 to 9 ounces sharp Cheddar coarsely grated
  • 8 slices bacon (not thick cut) cooked until crisp (optional)

Directions 

  • In a small bowl, stir together the cream cheese, jalapeño or green chile, cumin, garlic, and a few grinds of pepper. Taste and, if desired, add more cumin or pepper.
  • Place the bread on a baking sheet. Spread butter on 1 side of each slice of bread. Flip 4 slices of bread and spread each of these with an equal amount of the cream cheese mixture (about 3 tablespoons per slice). You may have a small amount of cream cheese left over. Scatter the Cheddar over the cream cheese, dividing it evenly, and, if using bacon, finish with 2 slices per sandwich. Top with the remaining 4 bread slices, placing them with the buttered sides facing out.
  • Place a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Fry the sandwiches, in batches if necessary, until golden brown on each side with the cheese melted through in the middle, 3 to 4 minutes per side, give or take a little given the exact heat under the skillet.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat. Serve the grilled cheese sandwiches immediately, sliced in half if desired.