Crispy Jalapeño Popper Ham & Cheese/Slades Brewing Co. Superbud IPA/The Cosmic Trigger “The New Order of the Cosmos”
The Christmas season always seems to bring a few sleeves of Wolferman english muffins to these parts, this year it was a couple sleeves of jalapeño cheddar ones, which is a huge score. Toasted with some lunch meat and cheese would have been more than fine, but what if we battered the muffins, then coated them in crushed Sun Chips and fried them until crispy. Then, what if we layered spicy buffalo cheddar and black forest ham on top until the cheese is melted and the ham is slightly browned. Now, what if we topped that with a roasted jalapeño and a big scoop of whipped cream cheese? Well, if we did all that, we would have created the Crispy Jalapeño Popper Ham & Cheese, which is exactly what we did. A sandwich this good, needed a really great beer to pair with it, so we humbly went with Slades Brewing Co.’s Superbud IPA. Rounding out the evening’s festivities on the music end of things is the heavy biker rock of The Cosmic Trigger’s “The New Order of the Cosmos”.
Crispy Jalapeño Popper Ham & Cheese – For those of you that have ever had difficulty choosing between jalapeño poppers and a monte cristo, this sandwich is for you. We start by “butterflying” a jalapeño pepper then taking out the stem and seeds. Roast the pepper in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes until blistered. Leave the oven at 375.
Now let’s get to work on the bread. We make an egg wash with two beaten eggs, a splash of milk and some fresh cracked pepper. Slice the jalapeño and cheddar english muffins in half and soak in the egg mixture until saturated.
Next up smash a snack size bag of Sun Chips into fine crumbs and pour on a plate. Press the english muffins into the crumbs so that they adhere to the bread.
Warm some grape seed oil in a pan and once heated add the english muffins to the pan. Pan fry on both sides until browned and crispy then remove from heat.
On top of the warm, crispy muffins add two slices of buffalo cheddar and two slices of black forest ham and place in the oven until the cheese is melted and the ham is browned slightly.
Place the roasted jalapeño on top of the ham then a generous spoonful of whipped cream cheese.
Top with the other half of the english muffins and press down slightly. Honestly, these were ridiculously good and so addicting. Really the best of both worlds between a jalapeño popper and a ham and cheese sandwich.
Slades Brewing Co. Superbud IPA – We were crossing our fingers on this batch. Seeing as though IPAs are our favorite style beer, when we set out to make one that would be up there with one of our favorites, Half Acre’s Daisy Cutter, we would be sorely disappointed if it was anything less than that. With the help of our friends at North Shore Brewing, we decided to dry hop it with a ridiculous amount of Citra and Simcoe hops. It produced the hop bomb we were hoping for and came out better than we could have ever anticipated. The beer pours a cloudy dark orange with a fizzy head. The aroma is overflowing with grapefruit and mango, the result of a successful dry hop. The flavor is super bitter but also really tropical creating that perfect IPA “balance”, and we use that word almost sarcastically. For as big as this beer is flavor-wise, the mouthfeel is really light making these dangerously easy drinking. The sheer hoppiness of this beer made it a perfect compliment to the spicy pepper and cheese in the sandwich.
The Cosmic Trigger “The New Order of the Cosmos” – We found this great band one night messing around on Bandcamp and are now totally hooked on their discography. The band delivers some excellent groove-based heavy rock and roll with a ton of low-end and some really cool gravelly vocals all of which are reminiscent of Orange Goblin. “The New Order of the Cosmos” begins with the instrumental “Pulling the Trigger”, a combination of some clean guitar noodling mixed with a super heavy fuzzed out riff. The song bleeds right into “Brother of the Sun”, a huge number that features a sweet Iron Maiden-esque twin guitar attack. “A Welcomed Rapture” is a heavy shuffle which continues to build in its heaviness as the song rolls on. “Slave” is a medium tempo track with a bluesy riff as its backbone. There is a really cool jam and solo that brings the song home during the last half of the track. The album’s highlight comes on “Tunnels Pt. 1 and 2” with the former being a slow driving, yet heavy tune with huge soaring vocals. The latter is a little more experimental with some Tool aspects to it. The album ends with “Fade Into the Flame” which is another great track that equates to 10 minutes of heaviness with a High on Fire-like quality. This band is awesome, a guaranteed good time when you spin this album or their equally stellar EP.