As many of you probably know, and the rest of you SHOULD know, the Southwest is home to some of the greatest chili peppers ever. Of particular radness is the Hatch Chili, which is grown in Hatch, New Mexico, which is not too close to me…but not too far. This year I haven’t gotten over to Hatch to snag a bag of green chili, but they’re pretty readily available throughout the Southwest and folks love to snap them up as soon as they hit shelves. Yes, they’re that good. Now this is a recipe that I’m sharing with you that is still very much in experimentation. And by that I mean that I haven’t yet decided which cheese I like best in this. So I welcome you to try it out at home and use your own favorite cheese and then post a comment letting us know which cheese you used and how you feel about it. This is not a grilled cheese sandwich for the faint of heart. This will wreck you. It is a serious calorie bomb and you should feel prepared for the possibility that you’ll feel like a bad person after you eat it. I made this two ways: one for vegetarian me, and one with bacon for carnivore Jake. This recipe makes two sandwiches. You may want to give or take some of the cheese or chili depending on how hot your chilies are and how much cheese you like in your grilled cheese. I wanted these to be pretty dang serious on purpose. I ate salads for days afterwards.
Green Chili Grilled Cheese
Multigrain bread slices, each buttered on one side
1 small onion, sliced into rounds
1 roasted Hatch green chili, cut in half, seeds and stem removed
3 slices bacon, fried or cooked how you prefer
6 oz. white cheddar cheese (or other cheese), cut into slices
1. In a hot skillet, sauté your onion slices till they’re tender and translucent.
2. As is normal, butter one side of each slice of bread.
3. Slap your first piece of bread, butter side down, into a hot skillet.
4. Quickly arrange your cheese on the bottom, then the Hatch chili slice, then the bacon (if using), then the onion slices, then a second layer of cheese. Top with another slice of bread, butter side up.
5. Fry your grilled cheese on medium heat till the first side is golden brown, then carefully flip and fry till the other piece of bread looks the same. If you want to slap a lid on the skillet in order to get the cheese to melt faster and more completely I fully support that.
6. Eat immediately. With a napkin. Not your shirt.