This might be the easiest recipe I ever post on this site. It’s four ingredients and takes no time at all. But that doesn’t mean it skimps on flavor. In fact, one of the ingredients really elevates it above the usual, boring PB&J. That ingredient? Jalapeño peppers!
This recipe occurred to me nearly a decade ago. I was in a bar in Park Slope, Brooklyn (I don’t remember its name or where it was exactly), and it had a panini press that squashed down Velveeta grilled cheese sandwiches and other things that were thrown together and churned out. One thing that wasn’t awful, though, was the PBJ&J. It tasted like any sandwich I’d had before, but at the end of that first bite, when the pepper kicked in, I was immediately enamored. The sweetness followed by a little heat was perfect.
It’s been so long since I’ve had this wonderful bar fare, so I don’t remember exactly how they prepared it. But in my foggy memory I think there were raw peppers—it had some crunch that wasn’t from peanuts. In my version, I take a few extra minutes to sauté the jalapeños to soften them and subdue their potency a little bit, which makes for a better experience in my opinion.
I’ve been making my version of this recipe for a long time now. If I remember the bar where I first had it I’ll update here, but in the meantime I hope you’ll give it a try and love the flavors as much as I do. For the sake of this recipe, the “peanut butter” is now Wowbutter. But I’ve also listed several other alternatives in the Notes section of the recipe.
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large jalapeno pepper, sliced
- 2 slices of your favorite bread (I use Whole Foods’ Whole Wheat)
- 2 Tbsp. Wowbutter or other nut-free butter
- 2 Tbsp. jelly (grape and strawberry work best with the peppers)
- Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over low-medium heat in frying pan; add jalapeno and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
- Spread nut-free butter on 1 slice bread. Add jelly to the other slice.
- Heat remaining oil and place bread plain side down in oil, moving it around to make sure pieces are coated evenly on bottom. Cook about 2 minutes.
- Add jalapenos to jelly and combine bread slices to form sandwich. Cook until brown on both sides, about 3 minutes each.