Here’s what happened: I took a bite of this grilled cheese sandwich and immediately tipped forward, hitting my head against a kitchen cabinet with a thud.
“What’s wrong? Are you okay?” my wife said worriedly, wondering if perhaps the saturated fats had finally done me in.
All I could manage to do was point at the sandwich, then at her mouth. She took a bite and was, as I was, dumbstruck.
When we could finally speak, all we could say was ‘wow’, just ‘wow’, reverently, over and over.
True story. You can draw your own conclusions.
Here’s how to make the Southern Style Crab Grilled Cheese Melt:
6 oz can crabmeat, well drained
1/3 cup finely diced Hungarian pepper (See Cook’s Notes)
2 green onions (tops only), minced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp pepper vinegar (see Cook’s Notes)
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 thick slices light-textured, grainy bread (I used a cracked wheat Italian loaf)
Butter for spreading
Paprika for dusting
6 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Combine the first seven ingredients (crabmeat to black pepper) in a bowl.
Toast the bread lightly on both sides. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-low heat.
Generously spread two slices of bread with butter, dust generously with paprika, and place them butter side down in the pan. Distribute 1/4 of the cheese on each of the two slices. Spread half the crab salad on each; top with remaining cheese. Butter and sprinkle paprika on the remaining bread and place on top. Press down very gently, if necessary.
Cook sandwich until bottom is crisp; turn over carefully and cook until other side is crisp. Cut with a serrated or very sharp knife, taking care not to press out the filling. Serve with bread & butter pickles. Makes 2 sandwiches.
Cook’s Notes: Hungarian peppers (also known as Yellow or Yellow Wax) are thin-walled, elongated peppers with just the merest hint of heat. You can substitute long, thin Italian or Cubanelle peppers, or Anaheim chiles. Don’t use bell peppers if you can avoid it as they’re too strongly flavored for this recipe.
Pepper vinegar is a curious condiment, but likable. It consists of a small shaker-top glass bottle jam-packed with tiny but fiery yellow peppers in a fairly small amount of white vinegar. It doesn’t seem like a good deal at first glance, but it’s very hot and intensely pepper flavored, so you don’t need to use much. Plus, you can keep topping off the bottle with fresh vinegar since the peppers will give off heat and flavor for a long time. If you can’t find it, you can use jalapeno pepper sauce. It won’t be the same, but it’ll be just as good.
Please join us tomorrow to find out more about our new gourmet grilled cheese recipe for Fried Green Tomatillo Grilled Cheese With Pepper Jack Cotija Spread, as part of this week’s special celebration of the joys of eating grilled cheese sandwiches.
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