Grilled Cheese del Mar for a Sandwich Throwdown

LOVE this Grilled Cheese del Mar, or grilled cheese of the sea, with creamy Monterey Jack cheese, lots of spicy shrimp and loads of green chiles. Don’t forget the perfectly grilled french bread.
Grilled Cheese del Mar with Shrimp and Green Chiles
National Grilled Cheese month cannot come to an end without my Grilled Cheese del Mar Sandwich to “represent” for the Southwest.  This cheesy green chile and shrimp filled grilled cheese sandwich from the sea combines my family’s special Sour Cream Enchiladas with my favorite Seafood Enchiladas and toasts them up in one crunchy bite that is totally addictive.

“Sandy, how did you come up with such a devilish idea for putting a creamy, “seafoodie” enchilada in a handheld sandwich?” you may ask.

Well, my friend Heidi, the master mind behind Foodie Crush, has been featuring amazing grilled cheese sandwiches filled with pears and figs and stinky cheese with truffles all month long.  When I told her she had inspired me to make a Southwest version, her response was,

“Bring it!”

Well, those are Throwdown words.  And, anyone who knows me knows, I simply cannot turn down a Throwdown.  Heidi’s grilled cheese sandwiches are so creative and so original that I knew I could not present her with your average avocado, bacon and jalapeno filled offering.  No… I had to come up with flavors from deep within the Southwest.  I had to dig into my culture and surprise her with the unexpected, the unusual, the Ultimate Southwest Sandwich!  And, Wa-Laa!  The Grilled Cheese del Mar… The Grilled Cheese from the Sea was born!

I realize the sun is setting on National Grilled Cheese Month even as we speak.  And, I realize that you might think this is a last minute entry into the battle (very last minute).  But, I like to think of it as a “saving my best for last entry.”

So, without further ado (and while it is still actually National Grilled Cheese Month) I present my Grilled Cheese del Mar sandwich.

image Grilled Cheese del Mar with crumbs

It only takes two quick steps to prepare the ingredients for this Grilled Cheese del Mar before you assemble them in the saute pan.  Cooking the shrimp is literally a six minute process and sweating the shallot and garlic can be done in the same pan, at the same time.  Buy pre-peeled and deveined shrimp to save extra time.

image assemble the cheese, green chiles and shrimp

Layer the cheese, green chiles and cooked shrimp with shallots on the buttered bread with the butter side down.  Then, place the sandwich in the pan.

Grilled Cheese del Mar with extra cheeeeeese!  I used sliced provolone cheese and Texas toast for this one!

image grilled cheese del mar


Grilled Cheese del Mar
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Southwest
  • Ingredients:
  • 16 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can 8 ounces diced green chiles
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 8 slices soft French bread, ¾" thick
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, finely grated
  • 4 ounces sour cream
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons juice from bottled jalapenos
  1. Peel and devein shrimp, if necessary.
  2. Mix spices together. Season shrimp with spice mixture.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Saute shrimp for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until pink and opaque. Do not over cook. Remove from pan.
  4. Add heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute until translucent then, add the green chiles and saute until heated through. Remove from heat. Wipe out the pan and return to the heat.
  5. Brush one side of each slice of bread with melted butter. Place 2 slices of bread butter-side down in the saute pan. Layer ½ of the ingredients, grated cheese, green chile mixture, sour cream and cooked shrimp on the two slices of bread. Sprinkle with jalapeno juice.
  6. Top the sandwiches with a second slice of buttered bread with the buttered side up.
  7. Grill the sandwiches slowly over medium heat until golden brown and crispy then, flip the sandwich and grill on the other side.
  8. Cook until sandwiches ate toasted and the cheese has melted.


You don’t have to stop making these delicious grilled cheese sandwiches when the national celebration is over. Give them a try and let me know how you like them.

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—posted by Sandy


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  1. says

    Holy Guacamole, that sandwich looks GOOD! and the ingredients list reads like a winner. I s’pose the husband will want some green tabasco sauce to add, he’s like that you see, but I’m ready to enjoy the original recipe as written.

  2. JC says

    Had friends over for lunch. Made this sandwich yesterday – AWESOME. Everyone loved this sandwich. Thank you for sharing and also thank you for sharing Heidi’s “Foodie Crush” site. I had one of her sandwiches on the menu as well. I let the sandwiches cool completely so I could cut them into small wedges, then served them on a hot plate to keep the cheese gooey. Perfect. Did I mention we all loved this creation?

    • says

      Hi JC, I’m so glad you liked the sandwiches! My family loves them, too. I love your idea of serving on a hot plate to keep the cheese gooey… genius!


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