Marco Polo – Manchego Grilled Cheese with Roasted Corn, Pickled Jalapenos and Smoked Chile Butter

Alright I’m gonna make this quick, I’ve got a crowded train to catch and a sixer of bud to slam. I felt bad that I left my vegetarian buds out with my previous 4th of July post, especially since I just wrote about the plethora of opportunities for vegetarian BBQ. Because of this, I decided to get real and make something that’s veg-head friendly. For this grilled cheese, I combine grilled corn on the cob, manchego cheese, and pickled jalapenos.  I grill it between two hearty slices of Texas toast that are smeared in smokey chile butter. And for the zinger (literally), fresh lime juice is squeezed on top for the perfect little splash of citrus. And errr, I know how what my state of mind is going to be this weekend (or lack thereof) so I’ll try to make this as drunk-friendly as possible, just in case, ya know… 

So liquid diets are cool and all but waking up with the worst hangover of your life sucks, so it’s probably a good idea to eat.


-2 slices of Texas toast
-1 cup of shredded manchego
-1 lime wedge
-1 tbs of pickled jalapenos
-1 ear of roasted corn
-1 tbs of smoked chile butter
  (combine 2 pats of unsalted butter, a pinch garlic
   salt, 1 tsp smoked paprika, & 1 heaping tsp chile

Alright everyone, to begin, get a grater out and carefully grate up a cup of manchego. I know this can be tricky and it’s super important that you don’t get your fingers too close to the metal. It can get pretty gnarly considering how thin your blood will be at this point. If there’s any kids in the room or sober people, forcibly give them this responsibility.

Once it’s grated, you can step back in and fumble some cheese onto the bread. Use half, or as much as you can pile on without it getting ridiculous.

Now THIS is probably the most dangerous part. Abandon ship. Give this to job to someone else. Seriously. Hand them a corn cob and shrug your shoulders. I found it helps if you make a whiny noise combined with a sad frightened face to let them realize how much of a bad idea it would be for you to use a knife right now.

After they help you out, stack it on. Kiss them on the face.

Now this next part – you can totes do it yourself. Just scoop out a spoonful of pickled jalapenos, let the excess juice drip off and put a few on. If you’re a bad ass you should probably use real jalapenos but I’m too much of a wuss, especially when I’m drinking and people are already probably annoyed with me.

With the remainder of the cheese, carefully plop it on and press down. 

Now take that second piece of bread and put it on top. Then smear some of that yummy smoked chile butter on top.  

Alright time for the kids to take over again. Have them crank up the heat to medium and gently place the sandwich in – butter side down. Don’t get too close to the flames, although you probably won’t care because your sense of feel has diminished, you’ll regret the burn in the morning. Hangover and burnt hands? No bueno.

And because you’ll probably have no concept of time, just keep checking the belly of the sandwich with a spatula. Once it’s crusty and golden and the cheese has started to melt, flip it.  Repeat.

When it’s done take it out of the pan,  let it sit for another minute so the butter absorbs and the cheese thickens, then squeeze a lime wedge on top and chow down.  You should probably give the person who made this for you a bite too.  They’ll appreciate it.

Wipe your mouth. Blast some Tennis and some Harlem. Do some cannon balls. DON’T FORGET TO REAPPLY SUNSCREEN. Have fun!




  1. @Darren, sorry I didn't respond to your question in the previous post! This sort of texas toast is just really big fluffy extra thick white bread. I think it holds up really well for fully stuffed grilled cheese. You should be able to find it in your grocery store in the bread isle, NOT THE FROZEN SECTION. I got mine at Trader Joe's if you have access to one. If you can't, white bread will work great too;)


  2. Ohhh this looks delish. I love pickled jalapenos…they still have a bit of a kick without lighting my mouth on fire. I'd never, ever think of putting corn on a sandwich!


  3. Looks good enough that I might try to eat a jalapeno…wait no, my mouth rejects all attempts by me to light it on fire. Delicious looking, otherwise though! Who knew there were so many ways to make the tummy happy with cheese and bread (most important food groups right there).


  4. Another great topping would be grilled jalapenos with cream cheese. its rich and has the “chili” flavor. I also use this for a dip on Ritz crackers. its so delicious! when I make this I use about 12 jalapenos with one 8oz. pkg of cream cheese. I saute the jalapenos in butter and warm the cream cheese in the microwave. not to much because the jalapenos are hot when you add them to the cream cheese and it will melt the cheese slightly. also, did I mention this is fattening. but its oh so good!


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