Spicy pepper, Monterey jack and cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes (including for the peppers)
In a 2011 interview for Men's Health magazine, executive chef Thomas Keller was asked whether it is sacrilege to query one of the most acclaimed chefs in the country about grilled cheese.
"Why not?" he replies. "Everyone loves grilled cheese."
Keller's recipe for a grown-up, two-cheese version comes with a twist: spicy charred peppers.
1 or 2 jalapeño peppers
1 red bell pepper
Butter, softened at room temperature
4 slices brioche, whole wheat or sourdough bread (3/4-inch thick)
8 slices Monterey jack cheese
8 slices cheddar cheese
Fill a bowl with ice water. Place the peppers on a metal baking sheet, and fire up a small butane torch until the flame burns blue. Carefully blister the skins of the peppers with the blowtorch, turning them with a fork as you work. (Alternative methods: Put peppers under a hot broiler and turn every 30 seconds or so, until blistered; or, hold the peppers with tongs and, one at a time, scorch over the flame on a gas stove.)
Pull on a pair of plastic gloves and plunge the peppers into the ice water for a few seconds. Remove them and rub off their skins. Then halve them lengthwise, remove the seeds and chop them.
Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium. For each sandwich, liberally butter both sides of two bread slices. Place two slices of Monterey jack on one piece of bread; add a heaping tablespoon of the pepper mixture in the middle. Place two slices of cheddar on the other piece of bread and put the bread slices together.
Place the sandwiches in the skillet over medium heat and cook until the bread is golden brown and the cheeses melt together, 3 to 5 minutes a side. Cut them in half diagonally and serve with beer.