Behold — the monster of Lake Erie. JR Sullivan
Melt Bar & Grilled, on the outskirts of Cleveland of Lakewood and Cleveland Heights, has a specialty: grilled cheese sandwiches. The presence of the menu of 26 variations of that humble childhood favorite – there is also one filled with lasagna – is just an indication of how far and wide owner Matt Fish is willing to get a grilled cheese. Another: Lake Erie monster, in which a Guinness-hit wall fillet is dipped in a cheerful melted American cheese mess, jammed between thick slices of bread, and served with jalapeño spiked tartar sauce. This is the fish camp kitchen leading to its outer boundaries that loosen the belt.
- 4 wall fillets (or other strong fish with white meat)
- 3/4 cup flour for all uses, plus 1/2 cup
- 1 tablespoon. kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon. black pepper
- 1/4 tablespoon. chili powder
- 1/4 tablespoon. baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup Guinness ale
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- Oil, for frying
- 8 slices of thick white bread (like Texas toast), toasted
- 16 slices of American cheese
For the jalapeño tartar sauce
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup pickled chips
- Approximately 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons. capers
- 1/2 tablespoon. chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons. Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tablespoons. lemon juice
- A teaspoon of lemon peel
- 1/2 tablespoon. black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon. dill
- 1/2 tablespoon. sugar
- 1/2 cup jalapeños, with seeds and finely chopped
- Prepare the dough: In a large bowl add the flour, salt, pepper, chili powder and baking powder and mix until combined. In a smaller bowl, beat the eggs, beer and buttermilk in a small bowl until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the largest bowl and beat until smooth.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While it is heating, heat the oil in a pan or heavy saucepan to 350 degrees. Rinse the fillets with cold water, then dry them with paper towels. Spread the remaining flour on a plate and rub the fillets in the flour, shaking off any excess. When the oil is ready, dip the floured fillets into the dough one by one, coating it completely so that the dough is thick and dripping. Add in the oil and continue with the remaining fillets. Fry for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and golden brown.
- While the fish is cooking, arrange the slices of toasted bread in a pan and place two slices of cheese on each piece. When the fish is ready, transfer the fillets to a paper towel, to remove excess oil, then place the fillets on top of the cheese on four of the bread slices. Place in the oven for about 3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Remove from oven and build sandwiches. Serve with jalapeño tartar sauce on the side. Serves 4
How to make Jalapeño tartar sauce
- Add the mayonnaise to a mixing bowl. Combine pickles, onion, capers and garlic in a food processor and pulse for 10 to 20 seconds until finely chopped. (Alternatively, you can use a knife to chop everything.) Add the minced ingredients to a sieve to drain any juice, then add in the mayonnaise.
- Add the mustard, lemon juice and peel, pepper, dill and sugar and mix well, until everything is well incorporated. Add jalapeños and beat again. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Makes 2 cups