1. JALAPENO POPPER GRILLED CHEESE
4 jalapeños, trimmed and halved lengthwise
8 slices bacon
8 slices whole wheat bread
4 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to broil.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place jalapeños onto the prepared baking sheet, cut side down. Place into oven and roast just until the skin has blackened, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before peeling off the skin.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Preheat a waffle iron to medium-high heat.
Lightly oil the top and bottom of the waffle iron or coat with nonstick spray.
With a butter knife, spread cream cheese on one side of each slice of bread. Working in batches, place slices, cream cheese side up, into the waffle iron. Top with jalapeños, bacon, cheese and remaining bread slices, cream cheese side down. Close gently and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 3-4 minutes.
2. BBQ CHICKEN & PINEAPPLE GRILLED CHEESE
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup sweet and spicy BBQ sauce, divided
8 slices good quality bread, such as sourdough
2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated on the largest setting
12 thinly sliced pineapple strips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place chicken breasts into an oven safe baking dish, spread 1/2 cup BBQ sauce over chicken; Coat chicken with sauce. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
Remove from oven and shred chicken with 2 forks. In a large bowl combine shredded chicken and 1/2 cup BBQ sauce; mix until evenly coated.
Taking 8 slices of bread, butter one side of each slice (only one side). Place bread butter side down, and lay all slices out in front of you. Spread 1/4 cup of cheese onto 4 slices of bread. On top of that cheese, spread one fourth of the chicken mixture onto each slice. Add 3 pineapple slices on top of the chicken, then top with the remaining cheese (should be about 1/4 cup on top of each slice). Taking the slices that have only been buttered, place them on top of the cheese layer, butter facing out. Press down with hand or spatula.
Heat a skillet or grill pan over medium heat and spray with non stick spray. Place 2 sandwiches butter side down on the pan, and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until browned. Flip and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes or until browned. *Careful, they tend to cook fast on the second side. Repeat these steps until all sandwiches are cooked.
Cut sandwiches in half and serve immediately.
3. BLACKBERRY BACON JALAPENO GRILLED CHEESE
1 Tbsp. butter
2 pieces sourdough bread
4 slices Swiss cheese
4 pieces bacon, cooked
½ jalapeno, sliced (*for less spice, remove seeds)
3 Tbsp. blackberry jam
Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place bread, butter side down, in skillet.
Top one piece of bread with cheese, bacon, and jalapeños.
Top the other piece of bread with blackberry jam.
Put sandwich together; grill over medium heat, flipping after 4-5 minutes.
Grill until both sides are golden brown and cheese is melted.
4. ROASTED STRAWBERRY, BRIE AND CHOCOLATE GRILLED CHEESE
6 strawberries, quartered
1/2 teaspoon canola oil
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter
4 thick-cut slices of multigrain bread
2-3 ounces of brie cheese, sliced
1-2 ounces high-quality chocolate
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss strawberries with oil and salt, then spread on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
Heat a large skillet or grilled over medium-low heat.
Butter the sides of two slices of bread, place them on the skillet buttered-side down, then layer on a few slices of cheese, chocolate and strawberries.
Top with a few more slices of cheese, then butter one side of the other bread slices, and place on top of the cheese.
Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese has started to melt, then gently flip the sandwich and cook until golden.