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BRIAN IN THE KITCHEN  brought to you by Stittsworth Meats

December 31 2012

Eating Healthy - Hot Chile Grilled Cheese

    4 poblano peppers
    1 14-ounce can pinto beans, preferably low-sodium
    3 tablespoons prepared salsa
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
    2 tablespoons low-fat plain yogurt
    3 scallions, sliced
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
    8 slices sourdough bread

Place peppers in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on High until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Let stand, covered, until cool enough to handle.
    
Meanwhile, combine beans, salsa and salt in a medium bowl. Mash the beans with a fork until they begin to form a paste (some can remain whole). Combine cheese, yogurt, scallions and cilantro in a small bowl.
    
When the peppers are cool enough to handle, slice each one in half lengthwise and remove the stem and seeds.
    
Heat a panini maker to high. (No panini maker? See Stovetop Variation, below.)
    
Spread 1/3 cup of the bean mixture on each of 4 slices of bread. Top with a heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture. Place 2 pepper halves over the cheese. Cover with the remaining slices of bread.
    
Grill the sandwiches in the panini maker until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Cut in half and serve immediately.

No panini maker?  Place four 15-ounce cans and a medium skillet (not nonstick) by the stove. Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place 2 sandwiches in the pan. Place the medium skillet on top of the sandwiches, then weight it down with the cans. Cook the sandwiches until golden on one side, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, flip the sandwiches, replace the top skillet and cans, and cook until the second side is golden, 1 to 3 minutes more. Repeat with another 1 teaspoon oil and the remaining 2 sandwiches.