Grilled Cheese Fiesta

It all started last weekend when our good friend Gariann invited a bunch of us over to make tamales one last time before we move away.  Of course she fed us all while we cooked, and I’m talking about delicious appetizers like chorizo and guava puff pastry bundles, molletes, guacamole, and the like (to get us ready for the hands-down best tamales I’ve ever had in my life).  Well, somehow the topic of “12 Days of Grilled Cheese” came up and one of us (probably Gariann, the smart one) declared we should make a contribution to the series.

So back to Gariann’s I went after work today, and wow!  We made some darn good sandwiches.  We had something sort of Latin in mind, and she started pulling ingredients from the pantry and fridge.


We had enough for endless variations, and the only hard part was deciding which ingredients to combine in each sandwich.   We used an electric sandwich press, but if you don’t have one, follow the basic procedure outlined in the first “12 Days” post.

La Latina #1

  • Sliced pepper jack cheese
  • Sliced cooked chicken, seasoned to taste
  • Your favorite enchilada sauce or bottled hot sauce (we used an amazing sauce Gariann’s husband John made from guajillo, cascabel, and other chiles)
  • Roasted, peeled, and seeded poblano chiles
  • Cooked black beans
  • A little more pepper jack, shredded
  • Bread of your choice

Layer it up, spray the top side of the top bread with spray butter or olive oil, dust with dried cilantro or Mexican oregano, and grill in a pan or sandwich maker.  A nice variation is to mash up some of the beans with the enchilada sauce and use that as an inside spread on the bread before assembling.

grilled cheese

grilled cheese

grilled cheese

La Latina #2

  • Thin slices of guava paste (we used Goya brand)
  • Thinly sliced chorizo, quickly browned in a skillet (Goya again)
  • Shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • Roasted, peeled, and seeded poblano chiles
  • Crumbled cotija cheese
  • Bread of your choice

Spread the guava paste on one slice of bread, then top with everything else, following the same procedure as above.  If you are using a sandwich press, it will hold the ingredients together.  If you are cooking the sandwich in a pan, layer the shredded and crumbled cheeses throughout the rest of the ingredients so the cheese will fuse the sandwich together as it melts (keep the heat low and use a lid to help melt the cheese without overcooking the bread).

grilled cheese 5


grilled cheese


grilled cheese in press


grilled cheese

No photos of artistically plated sandwiches today – we ate them up too fast for that!

Tami and Gariann

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