Chipotle Gouda and Steak Grilled Cheese


by Kelly of The Meaning of Pie

A chipotle chile is a jalapeño that has been left in the field until it turns a vibrant shade of red and is then removed and smoked for several days. The result is a dried chile that is imbued with a smoky, hot flavor. It is a very distinctive chile preparation. As a native of Texas, I love spicy, smoky chipotle chiles. Recently, I happened across a jewel in the cheese case of my grocery store here in Dallas. It was a Wisconsin Gouda cheese, speckled with little bits of chipotle – a cheese that should truly be melted and a natural choice for a hot grilled cheese sandwich.
Although I’m sure this Chipotle Gouda cheese would have stood strongly on its own in a grilled cheese, I decided that I wanted something a bit more substantial, and grabbed a big New York strip to go with it. The beauty of using a steak for sandwiches is that you can enjoy a really great piece of meat, and easily feed two hungry people with only one steak. Lastly, a Texas-style rub complemented this steak and made it an exceptionally flavorful partner for the cheese.

Chipotle Gouda and Steak Grilled Cheese

by Kelly of The Meaning of Pie

Serves 2

The Rub
1/2 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon beef base (powdered beef bouillon seasoning)

If you have a mortar and pestle, grind the spices together and mix them well. Otherwise, simply mix the ingredients and store in a tightly sealed jar. This makes far more than you will need for this one steak, but I think you will find many other uses for it. Use about one teaspoon per side on this steak.

The Steak
1 (1’’ to 1½” thick) New York strip steak

I used a 1, 1/2” thick New York strip (rib eye would be great as well). Season the steak on both sides right before cooking. Either cook it on the grill or sear it well on both sides in a cast iron skillet or grill pan and finish it in a 425 degree oven until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 130 degrees (for medium rare) or 135 degrees (for medium). The steak will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven and will increase in temperature.
It is important to tent the steak with foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before you slice it. After the steak has rested, slice it thinly. Keep it covered with foil until you are ready to cook your sandwich.

The Sandwich
Cooked and sliced steak
1 large loaf of Ciabatta bread (or other high-quality bread), cut for two sandwiches
8 to 10 slices of Chipotle Gouda cheese (enough for both sides of each sandwich)
Butter or olive oil

Lightly brush the outsides of the sandwich bread with melted butter or olive oil. Lay the bread down and place 2 pieces of Gouda cheese on each side. Layer the warm steak slices on one of the pieces of bread for the middle of the sandwich. You should use thick enough cheese so that it is able to ooze between the slices of steak as it melts. Close the sandwich. Place the sandwich in a hot grill pan or panini press. I use a grill pan and then cover the sandwich with a piece of foil and lay a heavy cast iron skillet on top to weight it down. Cook the sandwich on both sides until the cheese is thoroughly melted and the bread is hot and a little crisp on the edges.