Chopped cheese is a beloved bodega sandwich hailing from New York but very specifically Brooklyn, though among chopped cheese enthusiasts, the exact borough to lay claim to this sandwich remains debatable. Often regarded as New York City's answer to the Philly Cheesesteak, it's easy to see its appeal. In its purest form, it is a beef hamburger patty seared on a flattop and "chopped" during the cooking process to the point where the patty shape is no longer relevant. Exact seasoning beyond salt and pepper remains mostly secretive, but many chopped cheese devotees swear that the only seasoning appropriate is Goya brand Adobo seasoning (a spice blend consisting of salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder and oregano). While still hot on the flat top, American cheese slices are used to top the beef until melted and then the entire mixture is transferred to a hero bun and then very simply topped with lettuce, tomatoes and mayo. Taking all of the main cues from this classic sandwich and applying it to a mini pull part scenario allows for easy sharing and even easier preparation when entertaining for a crowd.
Chopped Cheese Style Mini Pull Aparts 5 Steps
Heat a large cast iron skillet on high, add in the vegetable oil and then the ground beef along with the onions. Brown the beef until nice and caramelized and the onions have softened and cooked through, using a metal or wooden spoon to “chop” or break up any large pieces of the beef. Season with the kosher salt as well as adobo seasoning and set aside.
While the beef is cooking, prepare the garlic butter by combining the butter, minced garlic as well as chopped parsley in a small pot. Heat until the butter has melted, add in a pinch of kosher salt and allow to cook for 1 minute before removing from the heat and setting aside.
To assemble: split the buns in half (in one whole sheet if possible). Place the bottom half on a baking sheet, brush half of the garlic butter and toast in a preheated 375°F oven for 4-5 minutes.
Remove the toasted bottoms from the oven, using a slotted spoon so that excess moisture can be drained, place the cooked beef mixture and spread into an even layer. Then top with shredded mozzarella followed by the slices of American cheese. Place the top halves of the buns on the same baking sheet and brush with the remaining garlic butter. Bake both the beef topped bottom bread halves as well as the garlic butter bread tops together for another 4-5 minutes until the cheese has melted.
Remove from the oven, top the melted cheese half with the roma tomato slices, shredded iceberg and a healthy squeeze of mayonnaise. Carefully place the toasted garlic butter bread tops on, gently press down and serve immediately while still warm.