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Carol’s Mexican Cheese Bread

This Quick Family Recipe is brought to you by a lazy day I had about a decade ago. I literally had nothing in my refrigerator, and I really didn’t feel like going to the store.  I must have been watching too much Chopped…you know that show on the Food Network where they give you a basket full of crazy ingredients and expect you to come up with a gourmet meal? Well that’s what I did with this recipe.

I literally had bread, an open container of salsa, some leftover cilantro and shredded cheese. Sadly I had no butter, so making grilled cheese was out. But wait, I had olive oil…could this work? I slathered olive oil on both sides of my sandwich, and then I threw some Italian seasoning on the bread as well (I felt like the bread needed some flavor, and that’s all I had 🙂 ).

Fingers crossed, I threw it all on my hot griddle and hoped for the best. If this didn’t work I was going to have to give up on my PJ day and leave the house…To my shock and surprise, it was amazing. Better than any grilled cheese I’ve ever had because this was more like a fried bread creation with cheese stuffed inside. I made it for my husband to see if I was crazy, and he ended up loving it, too. He asked what I would call this creation and the first thing that came to mind was Mexican Cheese Bread. That’s what it has been called ever since and that’s the story of how this Quick Family Recipe came to be. 

It’s become one of our quick, go to dinners. From time to time I add turkey or even avocado to it, but you have to be careful not to let too many wet ingredients hit the bread, as it will have trouble crisping up. It’s not as good when it becomes a soggy sandwich. That’s why I cocoon all my ingredients in the middle with cheese on both sides! 😉 Your kids will have so much fun making these sandwiches with you and you’ll have dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes!

Ingredients: 

  • Bread
  • 1-2 Tbsp Salsa (preferably pico or a thick, chunky salsa)
  • Cilantro
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Your Favorite Seasoning (I’ve used Italian Seasoning, Taco Packets…just make sure it’s something savory.)
  • Optional: Turkey (May I suggest the Cajun Turkey from  the Publix Deli? 😉 ) and/or Avocado

How to Make:

  • Lay out your bread to make sandwiches. I usually use a giant cutting board or try in order to make a lot sandwiches at one time.

  • Add a heaping handful of shredded cheese to one side of your bread.

  • Add 1-2 Tbsp Salsa (preferably pico or a thick, chunky salsa) to the top of your cheese. Try to drain as much of the liquid off before adding to the sandwich.

  • Chop up a few leaves of cilantro and sprinkle over the top of the salsa (This is also where you would add the optional ingredients).

  • Add another small handful of shredded cheese to the top of the salsa and cilantro. This will help create the barrier between the bread and the wet ingredients. Remember, we want a tasty crispy bread, not a soggy sandwich! 😉

  • Close the sandwich and generously pour olive oil over the top and bottom of the sandwich.

  • Sprinkle on your favorite seasoning (I’ve used Italian Seasoning…think of dipping bread in oil and cracked pepper or herbs…that’s what this does for your sandwich. The pop of flavor it creates is amazing!

  • Throw sandwich on your hot griddle or in a hot frying pan and let it cook down…use another smaller frying pan on top to weigh it down. I don’t let anything go to waste, so I scoop up any extra cheese and throw it on top of my sandwich. Flip your sandwiches halfway through cooking. You’ll know it’s done when they become crispy and super golden brown.

  • Let sit for about 5 minutes to let the cheese set up. If  you cut into it right away, you’ll have an ooey, gooey mess. If you find yourself hangry and you just can’t wait, then throw your plate in the freezer for a minute or two, that forces it to set up faster.

  • Cut in half, serve and enjoy! 🙂

We’d love to see you making Mexican Cheese Bread with your family. Share your pictures on the Z88.3 Mornings Facebook page.

Carol Ellingson
Z88.3’s Resident Foodie
Originally posted on Carolbake.com.

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