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Grilled Cheese with Pepperoni and Pickled Cherry Peppers

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

I've expressed my love of pepperoni and pickled peppers as a pizza topping in the past. The combo of salty cured pork fat, heat, and a sweet-tart hit from the pickled peppers is a tough act to beat.

It works equally well as a filling for a grilled cheese sandwich.

To get the most out of my pepperoni, I like to microwave it on some paper towels beforehand so that the slices crisp up, giving you a bit of crunch with each bite. If you want to go all out, you could crisp the pepperoni in the skillet, saving the fat to toast your bread later on.

For the pickles, you could go the homemade route, but store-bought pickled cherry peppers, banana peppers, or pepperoncini will work just fine. If you really want to turn up the heat, pickled jalapeños might do the trick.

For an extra blast of heat, you can use some pepperjack cheese. In this instance, I instead went with some Colby, a slightly more flavorful but still super-melty cousin of American cheese singles.

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Grilled Cheese with Pepperoni and Pickled Cherry Peppers »

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About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

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