Batten down the hatches!  The chiles are here, the chiles are here!!!!!

This time of year, Sous chef gets really excited about the start of college and professional football season.  And I, Culinary Diva that I am, get really excited about Hatch Chile Season (see my Blog dated September 15, 2011 to understand why).

What is more American than football and grilled cheese sandwiches?   And what is simpler to make than a grilled cheese sandwich?  Sous chef insists that processed Kraft American Cheese is the quintessential cheese for this dish and tends to shy away from today’s contemporary efforts that use bizarre cheeses from yaks roaming about remote villages in the Himalayas and bread made by hand and baked over an open pit fire of ewe wood or some other exotic, aromatic wood.  So when it comes to grilled cheese sandwiches around the Culinary Diva’s house, the scope is limited.

Since I was feeling a little frisky in the kitchen, I needed to take the basic grilled cheese sandwich up a notch.  Not to worry though—it was Hatch Chiles to the rescue.  Topping the cheese with a couple Hatch Chiles adds flavor and zest and makes it seem like the sandwich came from a café in Santa Fe.  Hatch Chiles complement just about any meat, so go ahead and add thinly sliced chicken, turkey, or roast beef for a heartier sandwich.  And forget about Sous Chef’s preconceptions.  American Cheese is definitely not de riguer.  Experiment with pepper jack cheese for extra heat, cheddar cheese for a richer flavor, or provolone to highlight the taste of the Hatch Chiles.  Just make sure the cheese holds up to the grilling heat and does not dissolve into nothingness like feta or parmesan would do.

This sandwich is guaranteed to satisfy the family.  Try it this weekend when college football officially kicks off the Fall sports season – I bet you have at least one person coming back for seconds or trying to steal your last bite.

The Chiles are Here! Hatch Chile Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
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The classic grilled cheese sandwich gets kicked up a notch with the addition of Hatch Chiles. If you need a heartier sandwich, just add the meat of your choice – chicken, turkey, pork or roast beef. Hatch Chiles come around once a year, and freeze beautifully for use throughout the year. Milk is the perfect pairing to offset the heat of the chiles.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Southwest
Serves: 2

  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 6 slices cheese (American, Cheddar, Provolone – or cheese of your choice)
  • 2 Roasted Hatch Chiles – peeled, stemmed and seeded

  1. Place large pan over medium- high heat and add the butter. Once butter is melted add two slices of bread to the pan. Top the slices with a layer of cheese, chiles, and final layer of cheese before topping with remaining slice of bread.
  2. Cook approximately 5 minutes before turning (cheese should start to melt and bread should be golden brown in color), turn and cook the other side until just golden brown.
  3. Serve hot and with a glass of cold milk.