Queso Espiche

Grilled cheese is definitely within my top-ten most-made meals. I always have a few types of cheese in the fridge, and I usually get to bring home leftover bread from work, so I can always swing a basic cheese sammy. But why settle for basic when there is so much else you can put between buttery bread, smothered in gooey cheese? I can always find something to throw in there, whether it’s a fried egg, bacon, tomatoes, or herbs. Despite the fact that I eat a grilled cheese for at least two meals a week, I doubt I’ll be posting many of my concoctions on here. For one thing, it’s a meal that doesn’t take a culinary degree to whip up and for another, I’d rather leave grilled cheese to the professionals over at Grilled Cheese Social.

However, I felt obligated to share this particular sandwich with you because there is a valuable lesson to be learned from it. A few months ago I read something that changed the way I make grilled sandwiches of all varieties for ever. Gabrielle Hamilton, the author of Blood, Bones, and Butter, fries her grilled cheese in mayo. Mayonnaise!? I love mayonnaise! How could this NOT be awesome? I’ve adopted her method wholeheartedly and adapted it to egg-in-a-baskets as well. The mayo adds an amazingly tangy crust to the bread plus, I find it much easier to spread onto crumb-y bread than cold or even room-temp butter. So, in conclusion, you should be slathering bread in mayo and frying it. Like, now. Go.

Espiche Queso (or spicy grilled cheese)

2 thick slices of whole-wheat bread
A few thin slices of a good melting cheddar
2 peppadew peppers, chopped
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp Srichacha
1 large egg
2 tbsp butter

Fry the egg in butter to your liking and set aside. Mix together the mayo and Srichacha and spread half onto one side of your first piece of bread. Place the bread, mayo side down, into the same pan you cooked the egg in over medium heat. Place half of your cheese on the bread. Top with peppers, cilantro, egg, and remaining cheese. Spread the rest of the mayo onto your other piece of bread and place on top of sandwich, mayo side up. Cook sandwich for about three minutes or until there is a nice golden crust. Flip sandwich carefully and place a heavy lid or pot on top of sandwich to press. Cook three more minutes or until cheese is melted completely and the bread is golden-brown. Let cool slightly before slicing in half and devouring.