It's Time To Spice Up Basic Grilled Cheese With A Chile Corn Concoction

Grilled cheese with corn
Grilled cheese with corn - Mahi ryan/Shutterstock

In its most basic form, grilled cheese sandwiches have only two ingredients: Bread and cheese. The type of bread and cheese used is entirely up to the cook and eater, ranging from regular white sandwich bread with American cheese to hefty sourdough slices lined with funky Gruyère cheese. However, additional fillings are where many get to personalize their sandwiches. Meaty fillings like tuna, hamburger patties, and bacon are commonly seen, but what about vegetarian options?

One spicy-sweet meat-free combination to consider is a riff off another crowd favorite: Elotes, also known as Mexican-style grilled corn on the cob. Elotes are usually brushed with mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, cotija cheese, and cilantro sprinkled on top. A squeeze of lime just before serving completes the flavor profile. The off-the-cob version of elotes is esquites, and this Mexican street corn salad takes the humble grilled cheese to another level. The range of flavors and textures this combination provides makes it an incredibly satisfying snack — nay, meal — for folks who love a little kick of spice.

Read more: 11 Of The Best Cooking Tips From Bobby Flay

How To Assemble An Esquite Grilled Cheese

Mexican street corn salad
Mexican street corn salad - Liudmyla Chuhunova/Shutterstock

Grilled cheese sandwiches are a classic snack option for several good reasons. They are gooey, crunchy, portable, and easy for folks of all ages to assemble. There are many ways to reach your ultimate grilled cheese, but the principles remain the same: Line a slice of bread with meltable cheese (grated or sliced), cook until toasty, then add another piece of bread on top and flip, cooking until the second slice of bread gets equally toasty. When adding fillings, it is either placed on top of the cheese or mixed in with it, depending on the eating experience you would like to have.

In the case of adding esquites to grilled cheese, the latter method is preferable so the grated cheese can melt and hold the corn kernels together. Play with the other ingredients to your liking, especially the chiles, to get to the preferred heat level. Tajin, paprika, or a chili powder blend adds a subtle kick, while Calabrian chiles add more heat. Do not add too much mayonnaise to the filling, or it will be too mushy of an eating experience. That said, whatever filling or cheese you use, remember to consider spreading mayonnaise on the outside of your sandwich instead of butter, as it will brown into a deliciously tangy crust.

More Ideas For Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Stack of grilled cheese sandwiches
Stack of grilled cheese sandwiches - Jazzirt/Getty

Grilled cheese sandwiches are a handy vessel for many fillings, and there are few things better than a hot sandwich when one is hungry. You can tweak the corn salad filling to include flavors from other cuisines. Sweet Korean corn cheese is almost queso-like in its appearance, great as a chunky dip for chips or stuffed in between two slices of bread for grilled cheese. Make a corn and cheese variation of chaat, an Indian street snack, and liberally sprinkle chaat masala all over — this, too, offers a spiced bite of corn.

These sandwiches can be served independently or with one of the most classic culinary pairings of modern times, tomato soup. You can also tweak this perfect partner in dozens of ways to match and complement the fillings of your grilled cheese sandwich; try the aforementioned Korean corn grilled cheese with a zippy tomato and gin soup for a grown-up weekday lunch.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.