In honor of the upcoming Super Bowl (Go Packers!), I asked GrilledShane Facebook fans, “Does anyone have any ideas as to what a Super Bowl grilled cheese would look like?” Thankfully, everyone came through and made great suggestions. Unfortunately, I had to discount a few right away simply because I keep Kosher (thus no pigs in a blanket and Wisconsin brats). The suggestions of nacho cheese, jalapenos, and nacho/tortilla chips are ones that truly piqued my interest. I did not want to use the cheap processed version of nacho cheese that you would normally get at a football game so I decided to make my own gourmet version of nacho cheese…
Ingredients for nachos and cheese grilled cheese
Homemade Jalapeno Nacho Cheese
Yellow Corn Round Tortilla Chips
How to make nacho cheese (Middlefield sharp cheddar and Dubliner cheese)
What is nacho cheese? What is in that cheese that you eat at sporting events/concerts and pay way too much for? Do I even really want to know? I can only assume it is processed garbage that at the time tastes great but in actuality is far from real. I have decided not to Google this question as I am not sure I want to know. Ignorance is bliss, right?
Since I did not actually know what is in generic nacho cheese, I took a best guess at making my own version. It turned out much better than expected.
For some reason, when I think nacho cheese, I think cheddar. Since I like purchasing local, I chose a sharp cheddar from Middlefield. I was thinking that I would stick with just one cheese but that seemed boring and not at all gourmet. That is when I decided to also include…
The Kerrygold Dubliner was sitting near the Cheddar and it was calling my name. I had an orange cheese, so I thought why not go ahead and mix in a little bit of a white cheese. Why not this particular white cheese? I have already used Dubliner in an Asparagus & Lemon Pepper Vinaigrette Grilled Cheese and it was fantastic. I imagined that it could only enhance the gourmet nacho cheese.
(See next page for how to build the sandwich)
Now that I had the cheeses, I needed to figure out how exactly I was going to make this gourmet nacho cheese out of two parts cheddar to one part Dubliner. I simply needed to mix the cheeses together and I would be done. That is where the microwave came in handy (and a microwave safe bowl). Since I wanted a nice kick in my sandwich and we thought The Dad only wanted it medium, we split this batch in two, limiting the amount of jalapenos in The Dad’s nacho cheese.
The “secret ingredient” of the gourmet nacho cheese is the jalapeno pepper. The type of pepper your purchase depends on how much of a kick you want. Feel free to increase the heat level if you would like, but I think the jalapeno definitely served its purpose.
After melting (aka microwaving) the cheese, slicing the jalapenos and mixing everything together, I stuck the newly created gourmet nacho cheese in the refrigerator for an hour or two. I wanted the cheese to re-coagulate, but I also wanted to give the jalapeno flavor time to spread.
Normally the thoughts section contains most of information regarding the sandwich, but this time, it was all about the cheese and how it was created. Everything else was just extra…
…well, except for the tortilla chips. Round yellow corn tortilla chips are exactly what you get when you order nachos cheese so it only makes sense to be included in this sandwich. They added a great and much needed crunch to an already good sandwich. If you make this sandwich, you must include yellow corn tortilla chips.
The sous chef chose the bread. She saw that a local grocery store had pizza shells on sale and thought that they would make a good canvas for this grilled cheese. I was skeptical at first but went along with it. To get even more in the Super Bowl/football mood, I used part of our grater to shape the dough into football shapes. After cutting the dough into the football shapes, I did brush them with olive oil and bake them briefly. I then took the bread out of the oven and began to build the sandwich, baking after completing the stacking process.
Thanks to the power of Facebook and some great suggestions, I was able to make a great Super Bowl grilled cheese sandwich. The homemade gourmet jalapeno nacho cheese took me back to the few times I purchased nachos and cheese at football games or concerts. I just finished eating the leftover cheese simply with the chips and it was fantastic. The addition of the tortilla chips and even the use of the pizza shell as bread made for a sandwich that would be perfect on any given Sunday, including the upcoming one.
Shane Kearns blogs about grilled cheese at Grilled Shane.
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