Smoky Southwestern Grill


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Try this spicer take on the BLT

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  • 2 pasilla or Anaheim chilies (or use canned chiles)
  • 18 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 ciabatta rolls, cut in half (or 1 loaf ciabatta cut into 3-inch wide sections, or use any type of Italian bread)
  • 12 oz. coarsely grated mozzarella (if watery, drain slightly and cut into thin slices rather than grate it)
  • 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled or pinched into pea-sized pieces
  • 4 large slices tomato, 1/4 inch thick

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To Roast the Peppers: Preheat the broiler, or, if you have a gas stove, turn on one burner. Place the chilies under the broiler or, if using a gas burner, hold one chili with tongs over the flame. Cook, turning frequently, until skin is charred all over. Repeat with the remaining chilies. Place the chilies in a resealable plastic bag and set aside for 20 minutes. Using a small sharp knife, scrape off the charred skin. Cut off the stems, then cut the chilies into 1/2-inch wide strips. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crispy. Drain on paper towels. Wipe the bacon grease from the skillet but do not wash it. To Assemble: Pull out some of the center of each roll to create a well. Brush the outside of each roll with the olive oil. Place the 4 bottom pieces on your work surface, oiled side down. Distribute the mozzarella evenly over these pieces, followed by the bacon, chiles, tomatoes, and goat cheese. Place the remaining 4 pieces of bread on top, oiled side up.

Stovetop Method: Heat the same skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Put the sandwiches in the skillet (in batches if necessary), cover, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the undersides are golden brown and the mozzarella cheese has begun to melt. Uncover, and turn the sandwiches with a spatula, pressing firmly to flatten them slightly. Cover, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the undersides are golden brown. Turn the sandwiches again, press with the spatula, and cook for 30 seconds, or until the mozzarella has melted completely. Serve immediately.

Sandwich Maker Method: Preheat the sandwich maker (if it has adjustable heat, set it to medium). Follow directions for sandwich assembly. Put the sandwiches in the machine and pull the lid down very firmly to compress the sandwiches. Cook according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Makes 4 sandwiches.

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