This is Part Six of my Favorite Food Bloggers Series!
Closet Cooking is a great food blog owned and operated by Kevin. Kevin lives in Toronto, Canada, shops often at farmer’s markets, and is a self-taught home cook. I love, love, love the name of his blog – he calls it closet cooking because his kitchen is the size of a closet! How can you not love him after that? Especially if you’re like me and can totally identify.
Kevin got into cooking after realizing he ate the same boring thing over and over again, and needed to make some changes in his cooking style. He took the challenge seriously, as I think he is one of the more inventive and creative cooks in the blogosphere.
One of the great things he does is take a dish, let’s say buffalo chicken wings, and then turns the concept completely on its head by reinventing it into many other dishes. Like buffalo chicken deviled eggs, and grilled cheese sandwiches, and dips, and well, you get the picture. Seeing as this is one of my favorite ways to cook and eat, his blog definitely speaks to my stomach and heart.
While he features many different recipes on his blog, I would say that Kevin is your go-to guy for two things in particular: dips and grilled cheese sandwiches. He is forever creating new versions of those beloved classics, and they all look amazing. He also cooks up quite a bit of Vietnamese food, a cuisine that I personally love very much. I know Toronto has a large Vietnamese community, and though I’ve never been there, I’ve heard that it’s one of the best places to get a banh mi in North America.
It was particularly tough to pick one recipe to feature for this post, as I’ve been following Kevin’s blog for quite awhile and have pinned more of his recipes than you can imagine, but I knew it had to be one of his grilled cheeses. So I picked the Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich, because 1) I love jalapeno popper anything, and 2) it really showcases what his blog is all about; it’s one of his famous grilled cheese sandwiches, but it’s also a terrific example of how he takes one concept and turns it on its head to make it into another delicious meal. And delicious it definitely was.
If for some reason you haven’t already, please check out Kevin’s delicious blog as soon as you can!
Source: slightly adapted from Closet Cooking
Makes 1 sandwich as written
2 jalapeno peppers, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
2 slices good quality white sandwich bread
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup Monterey jack, shredded
1 tablespoon tortilla chips, crumbled
Place the peppers on a baking sheet with the cut side facing down.
Place the baking sheet on the top shelf in the oven and broil until the outer layer of the skin has blackened, about 8-14 minutes. You can also do this on your stovetop if you have a gas stove. Simply use tongs and place the peppers cut side up on your grates with the flame on medium heat until they blacken.
Place the peppers in a zip-lock bag or other sealable container, seal and let them cool until you can handle them, about 20 minutes.
Remove the skins from the peppers. The skins should easily “pinch” off.
Butter the outside of each slice of bread and spread the cream cheese on the inside. Sprinkle half of the cheese on the cream cheese of one slice of bread, top with the jalapenos, crumbled tortilla chips, the remaining cheese and finally the other slice of bread.
Heat a non-stick pan or griddle over medium heat.
Add the sandwich and grill until golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 2-4 minutes per side.