One of the best things about doing a food blog with a cook as talented as my sister Sandy is that she inspires me to be a better cook. Take her recent grilled cheese masterpiece, for example. I was craving that sandwich for three days and finally decided enough was enough. Everyone should have a sister like this! I had to make my own.
I made mine "Baja style," with shrimp and poblanos and chipotle flavors. And, a touch of sweetness with raspberry jam. No, it's not weird - raspberry goes well with chipotle. Promise me you'll shake a little chipotle chile powder into your next spoonful of jam. You won't be disappointed. So here are the layers: raspberry chipotle jam; pepper jack cheese; sauteed shrimp; sauteed onions and peppers; avocado mashed with some lime. My husband ate two whole sandwiches and begged for more.
So, Sandy - thank you for inspiring me so many times. And for this amazing sandwich!
Baja Style Shrimp and Raspberry Chipotle Grilled Cheese Sandwich
1 poblano pepper, seeds, stem and pulp removed and then diced
½ red onion, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste throughout
8 ounces medium sized raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder, divided
3 tablespoons low-sugar or no-sugar seedless raspberry jam
4 ounces Tillamook pepper jack cheese, sliced ¼ inch thick
8 slices sturdy white bread, cut into ½ inch thick slices
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Flesh of ½ of a ripe Haas avocado
½ tablespoon lime juice
In a large skillet, saute pepper and onion and a pinch of salt and pepper in oil over medium high heat until lightly charred and softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove vegetables from skillet. Toss the shrimp in ¼ teaspoon of chile powder and a pinch of salt and pepper and add to skillet. Cook shrimp on both sides until opaque throughout, about 2 minutes total. Remove shrimp from skillet and wipe out skillet with a paper towel. Turn heat to medium low.
Butter all slices of bread on both sides. Place four slices in pan and cook until golden brown. Remove two slices and set aside and then flip other two slices over in the skillet. Mix together the raspberry jam and remaining ¼ teaspoon of chile powder. Spread a thin layer on tops of bread slices in pan. Place cheese slices on top to fit bread. Lay shrimp flat on a cutting board and with a large knife parallel to the surface, cut shrimp through the center to form thin half-moon planks. Place shrimp in a single layer on top of cheese. Spread some peppers and onions n a single layer on top of shrimp. Smash avocado and stir in lime juice and a little salt and pepper to taste. Spread avocado mixture on the toasted sides of the two slices already removed from the pan. Place avocado side down on sandwiches in pan. Cook sandwiches until bottom bread slice is golden brown.
Flip sandwiches over and cook until golden brown on other side. Serve warm.