Rajas Grilled Cheese Panini + Tillamook Cheese Giveaway!

by on April 19, 2012

Post image for Rajas Grilled Cheese Panini + Tillamook Cheese Giveaway!

Rajas…isn’t it great when you can finally put a name to something you’ve been eating forever? I never knew until about a year ago that bold-flavored strips of roasted chiles and onions are called rajas. I made the connection not in the context of rajas con crema or any other traditional Mexican dish. Nope, my first exposure to the term rajas came with fries.

There was a long line of people waiting for the Rajas Fries from LA’s Frysmith at a food truck event I attended a while back. This dish, their most popular, consists of “fire-roasted poblano chiles, caramelized onions and shawarma-marinated steak with Jack cheese”. Over fries. Sounded amazing to this fry fan.

I made it to the front of the line and I had to crane my neck to make eye contact with the guy taking the orders (food truck windows are so high up!). I’d never heard the term rajas before. I debated in my head whether this was a Spanish word and therefore I should pronounce it “rrrrah-has” or if it was some other language and I should just hit it with a regular ol’ American “rah-jas”. Taking a cue from the poblanos and out of respect for the seven years of Spanish I took in school, I went with a tentative “rah-has”. Phew! The guy repeated it back to me the same way. Hurdle surmounted.

Take it from someone who usually doesn’t even add so much as ketchup to fries (I’m a fry purist), these rajas-and-marinated-steak-loaded fries were crazy good! Just to be clear, the roasted poblanos aren’t especially spicy, but they bring a ton of flavor and just a hint of heat.

In celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month, Tillamook asked me to contribute a recipe for the Grilled Cheese Recipepalooza feature on their Loaf Life blog. When I saw that pepper jack these was among their cheeses I could choose from, I immediately thought of the rajas from Frysmith to pair with it. I grilled the onions and peppers in minutes right on the panini maker. With the addition of pepper jack, things do start to get a little spicier so if you’d rather keep it on the cooler side go for regular Monterey Jack.

Read on for my Rajas Grilled Cheese Panini recipe…plus the chance to win a Tillamook Cheese Deli Sampler Gift Box! [THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED]

Enter to win a Tillamook Cheese Deli Sampler Gift Box!

** Tillamook Cheese Deli Sampler Gift Box Giveaway! **

You’ll be able to make grilled cheese galore if you win this Deli Sampler Gift Box, provided by Tillamook. It contains four of their most popular half-pound loafs:

  • Hot Habanero Jack
  • Sharp Cheddar
  • Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar
  • Pepper Jack

TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this post telling us which of these four cheeses you’d like to dig into first. [THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED]

The giveaway will close on Sunday, April 22 at noon PDT. I will use random.org to select one winner and I will announce the winner in this post. I will contact the winner via e-mail – if I don’t receive a response within 5 days I will draw another name. My apologies to international readers, the prize can only be shipped to U.S. addresses.

** UPDATE 4/24/12: Congratulations to our winner – #39 Neena! 

Rajas Grilled Cheese Panini

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{ 116 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristy April 19, 2012 at 9:01 pm

I would totally dig into the pepper jack first! But the whole package would be dug into in quick succession!

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2 sara April 19, 2012 at 9:02 pm

That sandwich looks amazing! I would so dig into the sharp cheddar cheese first…I love me a sharp cheddar! :)

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3 Kristi S April 19, 2012 at 9:41 pm

I would love to get into that cheddar, yum!

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4 Kristi S April 19, 2012 at 9:54 pm

I subscribe via email

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5 Marissa April 19, 2012 at 9:58 pm

I want that smoked black pepper white cheddar. I love Tilamook cheese, but I’ve never seen that variety. Their sharp cheddar is one of my favorites.

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6 mub April 19, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Oh yum… I’d love that smoked black pepper white cheddar! It looks fantastic!

I like the looks of that sandwich. I might have to make something similar for dinner tonight!

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7 Stephanie April 20, 2012 at 1:44 am

oooh! smoked black pepper white cheddar!

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8 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective April 20, 2012 at 5:09 am

Kathy, this look sublime! I have grilled cheese today too. :)
Sommer@ASpicyPerspective´s last blog post ..Pimento Granny Smith Grilled Cheese

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9 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective April 20, 2012 at 5:09 am

Oh… the habanero!
Sommer@ASpicyPerspective´s last blog post ..Pimento Granny Smith Grilled Cheese

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10 Andrea April 20, 2012 at 5:13 am

Hot habanero jack! On top of a homemade mozzarella pizza !

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11 Jen April 20, 2012 at 6:04 am

Oh yum! Either the cheddar, or pepper jack for sure. I love their cheeses!

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12 kristin April 20, 2012 at 6:14 am

pepper jack would be yummy on a grilled cheese!

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13 Meighan @ Cooking With Abandon April 20, 2012 at 6:48 am

the black pepper with cheddar sounds amazing!

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14 Marnely Rodriguez April 20, 2012 at 6:50 am

Pepperjack is my ALL TIME favorite cheese!

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15 Cassie April 20, 2012 at 6:56 am

I am all over the black pepper and smoked white cheddar. I can barely stand the wait!

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16 Morgan April 20, 2012 at 7:42 am

the smoked black pepper white cheddar looks to die for. Honest to goodness, that’s what I’d dig into first!

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17 Laura P April 20, 2012 at 9:09 am

I would totally dig into the smoked black pepper cheddar! It sounds awesome!!

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18 Jamie April 20, 2012 at 9:45 am

Smoked black pepper white cheddar, that intrigues me!

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19 Noelle (@singerinkitchen) April 20, 2012 at 11:12 am

I would love to try the Hot Habanero Jack! YUM!

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20 Sharon C April 20, 2012 at 11:21 am

The smoked black pepper white cheddar for me!

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21 Carole Resnick April 20, 2012 at 11:22 am

Smoked black pepper White cheddar The best of two worlds.

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22 Sharon April 20, 2012 at 11:28 am

Sharp cheddar. I love Tillamook

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23 Lisa Dufresne April 20, 2012 at 11:28 am

Sharp Cheddar of course, I’m from Vermont!

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24 Yenta Mary April 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

Oh, the black pepper cheddar sounds so intriguing! I’d have to start there … :)

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25 Mippy April 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

Oh wow! I’ve never had Tilamook cheese. I would dig into the pepper hack probly first so I can make the recipe above or I might just dig into the Hot Habanero Jack as I have not tried that before and I like ro try new things! :)

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26 Kathy Bose April 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

The smoked black pepper white cheddar so soooo good!

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27 Angela April 20, 2012 at 11:37 am

Ooo hot habanero jack!!

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28 Paula Tavernie April 20, 2012 at 11:38 am

Id dig into the Sharp Cheddar first! Yummm!
ptavernie at yahoo dot com

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29 Eileen Burke April 20, 2012 at 11:44 am

I would dig into the hot habanero jack first :-)

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30 Erin R. April 20, 2012 at 11:45 am

Holy cow, I would MOW through that sharp cheddar. And what a fantastic idea with the rajas grilled cheese!

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31 Nanci April 20, 2012 at 11:53 am

With out a doubt the PEPPERJACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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32 sara April 20, 2012 at 11:56 am

I would taste the sharp cheddar first, but my son would probably steal the other 3 and make grilled cheeses for everyone!

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33 Deb B April 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Hubby and I would love to try the Hot Habenero Jack on a grilled cheese. Or even better on a burger. Yum!

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34 Valeen N April 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm

The Smoked Black Pepper with White Cheddar! Yum!

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35 Margot April 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Yummy, I will feature it as recipe of the week, just a thumb and link to your site. Hope you don’t mind. Have a wonderful weekend!
Margot´s last blog post ..Handmade Mulberry Paper Stamped Party Invitations / Cards

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36 Kathy April 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Thanks, Margot!

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37 Nichole April 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Hot Habanero Jack, most definitely!!!

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38 Lynn R April 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Wow! If someone had made up a cheese package to please both my husband and myself they couldn’t have done a better job. I’d totally dig into the sharp cheddar first – it’s my favorite cheese. But it’d be followed closely by the black pepper white cheddar. However, my husband would be waiting at the mailbox to appropriate the habanero jack (which otherwise would never cross our threshhold!). The pepper jack would then be the light palate cleanser for him. :-)

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39 Robbi Hudson April 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I would have to try the Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar first.

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40 Neena April 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Hot Habanero fer sure! I love spicy…but they all look and sound SOO good. :)

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41 Linda J April 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I would start with the Smoked White Cheddar. How good does that sound!!

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42 Penny Snyder April 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Would love to try the ?Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar first!! grammypenny@frontier.com

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43 Babs April 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar is intriguing and also the Hot Habanero Jack. I have neither seen no tried either of these flavors so it would be a tough decision which to dig into first.

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44 kristen m April 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I would jump into the sharp cheddar 1st!
blue65829 at aol dot com

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45 Shannon Baas April 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I would love to try the sharp cheddar.

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46 Jessie C. April 20, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Pepper Jack sounds great to try first.

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47 Jaque R. April 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I would be digging into the Hot Habanero Jack first! :-) Thank you.

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48 CEB April 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I would go for the pepper jack. And hide it from the rest of the family!

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49 MaryBeth April 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Tough choice but I pick the sharp cheddar.

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50 Jean D. April 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm

I’d dig into the pepper jack first so I could make the Rajas Grilled Cheese Panini – sounds delicious. But want to try all the cheeses – all so sooooo good.

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51 Laura April 20, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I would start with the smoked black pepper white cheddar. I think it would be delicious in a sourdough/roast beef/dill pickle panini.

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52 Debbie C April 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Definitely, the Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar is the one I want to try first. It sounds deliciously savory!

chrisdeglen(at)gmail(dot)com

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53 ky2here April 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Bring on the antacid – I’m starting with the Hot Habanero Jack

ky2here at msn dot com

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54 Starr Greenwell April 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm

the Tillamook smoked black pepper!

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55 Renee G April 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm

I would love to try the Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar
rsgrandinetti@yahoo(dot)com

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56 Judy April 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm

I love this brand …. amazing pepper jack with tomatoes and mayo on white bread …. true southerner’s delight !!! Goes so well with good sweet tea ………

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57 LittleEagle April 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm

I’d try the smoked black pepper white cheddar first. Love visiting them but this is a new flavor.

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58 karen April 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm

The smoked black pepper white cheddar is intriguing! Never heard of it before. But I’d happily eat them all.
karenreichmann@hotmail.com

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59 Renata April 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Sharp cheddar looks good to me!

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60 robyn paris April 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm

i would like to try the hot habenaro jack first

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61 Corisa April 20, 2012 at 7:31 pm

The smoked black pepper white cheddar sounds soo different and delicious ! Definately my first choice!

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62 Amy S April 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm

The smoked black pepper white cheddar sounds delicious!

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63 Valerie Taylor Mabrey April 20, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Sharp Cheddar
vmkids3 at msn dot com

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64 nickie April 20, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Sharp cheddar

nickieisis3atgmaildotcom

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65 deb April 20, 2012 at 11:48 pm

Hot habenero jack,, we absolutely love hot cheeses. Whether melted over some tortilla chips or ontop of a grilled burger. Just about any kind of pannini cheesy goodness.!

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66 joseph gersch jr April 21, 2012 at 1:54 am

Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar

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67 Claire April 21, 2012 at 2:59 am

Pepper jack – my favorite!

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68 debbie April 21, 2012 at 4:13 am

The smoked black pepper white chedder, than all the others. I love cheese.

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69 Tari Lawson April 21, 2012 at 4:54 am

I would cut right into the ?Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar.

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70 Georgina April 21, 2012 at 5:19 am

Sharp Cheddar for sure perfect for crackers and to shred on veggies!

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71 Rhonda Petersen April 21, 2012 at 7:06 am

The smoked black pepper white cheddar

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72 Rob April 21, 2012 at 7:16 am

Definitely the smoked black pepper white cheddar! Mmmm.

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73 Susan Smith April 21, 2012 at 8:17 am

I’d love to try the Sharp Chedder first

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74 Sarah April 21, 2012 at 8:18 am

I would love to try the Black Pepper Cheddar – that would be a new one for me!

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75 mlb April 21, 2012 at 8:56 am

That’s a hard one. I think the hot habanero jack with the smoked black pepper Cheddar a very close second! I love Tillamook cheese!

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76 tracy davis April 21, 2012 at 9:17 am

Tillamook smoked black pepper

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77 alyce poalillo April 21, 2012 at 9:20 am

I love Tillamook cheese-had a chance to tour their factory and it was awesome! I would try the PepperJack first!

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78 Kathy April 21, 2012 at 9:25 am

How awesome – I’d love to tour their factory!

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79 Gloria S April 21, 2012 at 10:17 am

I’d try the Pepper Jack firtst

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80 Diane Baum April 21, 2012 at 10:38 am

I would like to try the sharp chedder please

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81 Kyl Neusch April 21, 2012 at 10:46 am

Pepper Jack

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82 Carol F April 21, 2012 at 11:15 am

I would like to try the Sharp Cheddar first
carolkfoster at comcast dot net

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83 Henal Patel April 21, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Habanero Jack! I love a good Pepper Jack…but really the spicier the cheese, the better in my opinion.

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84 Suzanne K April 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I’d go for the Hot Habanero Jack first!

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85 Kristy T April 21, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I think I’d try the sharp cheddar first as that’s my favorite. YUM! thanks for hosting!

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86 Jennifer M. April 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I’d like to try the smoked black pepper white cheddar….sounds good!

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87 Kathleen Conner April 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Wow, I like the sound of the Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar.

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88 Zachary Kl. April 21, 2012 at 3:09 pm

The smoked black pepper white cheddar cheese! Delicious!

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89 paige jagan April 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm

I would love to try the pepper jack cheese, love tillamook!

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90 Debra F April 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I’m exited to try the Tillamook smoked black pepper

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91 Diane F April 21, 2012 at 5:53 pm

I would try the Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar first.

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92 Louis April 21, 2012 at 6:09 pm

The Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar

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93 Meryl April 21, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Definitely the Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar!

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94 Kathy April 21, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Definitely the smoked black pepper white cheddar!!!!

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95 Leslie S. April 21, 2012 at 8:43 pm

I would go for the sharp cheddar but my husband would go for the pepper jack.Thanks!
lstanziani(at)yahoo(dot)com

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96 spirit_kim April 21, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Let me at the Pepper Jack, please!

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97 Monique Rizzo April 21, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Id like the Smoked black pepper white cheddar.
Thanks for the chance.
mogrill12@gmail.com

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98 Katie April 22, 2012 at 1:22 am

first choice to try: Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar

sounds so different and delicious!

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99 Shirley April 22, 2012 at 4:22 am

The smoked black pepper and white cheddar sound amazing.

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100 Ray April 22, 2012 at 5:30 am

Sharp cheddar is a perfect combo for crackers, veggies, omelets – thanks!

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101 Robin April 22, 2012 at 7:58 am

I would love the pepper jack cheese

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102 Alicia April 22, 2012 at 8:17 am

I would love to try the black pepper and white cheddar. It sounds delicious!!

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103 mickeyfan April 22, 2012 at 11:41 am

?Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar

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104 dddiva April 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Pepper Jack for me. :)

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105 leah g April 22, 2012 at 6:16 pm

mmm Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar sounds awesome. I cannot ever find Tillamook here, very sad.

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106 MizzScarlet April 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Pepper Jack

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107 Cellabella April 22, 2012 at 9:32 pm

I’d like to try the smoked black pepper white cheddar!

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108 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking April 23, 2012 at 11:33 am

What a fantastic giveaway, Kathy! Sorry to see I missed it, but just wanted to say your grilled cheese looks sensational! Love that big pile of roasted veggies on top. Great recipe!

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109 Kathy April 23, 2012 at 11:39 am

Thanks so much, Georgia!

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110 Diane {Created by Diane} April 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm

that smoked black pepper and white cheddar cheese would be the first to go under the knife :)
Your grilled cheese looks wonderful!

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111 Cyndi April 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm

We stopped at a Mexican restaurant for breakfast this morning on our way back from a camping trip. My Huevos Rancheros had rajas on top. Soooo good. The poblanos are better than bitter green bell peppers. Maybe I should start using them all the time instead of the green bells. That sandwich is on my to-do list!

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112 Danica April 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Pepper Jack, hands down! I love, love, LOVE Tillamook cheese, it’s my favorite and I know this would go great on so many different foods. So many options! What a great giveaway! :)

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113 Cyndi April 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm

I guess I should add which cheese I’d love: It would have to be the hot habañero!

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114 Diana February 25, 2014 at 7:51 pm

This sounds yummy! On step 4, should I close the lid of the panini maker when grilling the onions? Thanks!

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115 Kathy Strahs February 25, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Hi Diana — yes, close the lid! :)

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116 Diana February 26, 2014 at 8:27 am

Thanks! As you can guess, I’m a newbie to panini presses! :-)

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