You may think grilled cheese is just too simple for a recipe, but a little know-how is the difference between an average or a great sandwich. There are also a couple of variations you should know about.
2 Slices of bread
1 to 3 slices of cheese
Fancy bread (or homemade)
Second type of cheese
Dust outside of bread with
garlic salt and/or parmesan cheese
Ok, here we go:
- The bread can be as simple as store-bought sliced, white bread. But a bread that is a little more dense (like sourdough or artisan) works better. Baguettes (small loaves of French bread) are also very good, but you need to cut the crust off top and bottom before you use it or it won’t toast and heat up properly. Homemade bread is also very good, but then you end up with “First you make the bread.”
- Butter one side of each piece of bread.
- Cut a fairly thick (1/8 inch) piece of cheese to lie on top of the buttered bread. Cheddar is the most widely used, but choose whatever cheese you like best. There is an option to add a second cheese like Monterey or pepper jack and make the sandwich just a bit tastier. Don’t add too much cheese or it will just drip out.
Put the other piece of bread on top with the buttered side towards the cheese.
- There is an option of adding a slice of tomato or a few pickle slices if you choose. Do not over do this or the cheese will not melt evenly and it will turn into a soggy mess.
- Get a skillet (I like a cast iron griddle best) going at low to medium heat. I like to put a light spray of vegetable oil on the surface.
- Butter the bread on the outside of the sandwich (dust it with garlic salt and parmesan cheese if you wish) and drop it on the griddle.
- Now this is crucial; be sure the heat is not too high and periodically lift the edge of the bread up with a spatula to see if it is browning. The difference between underdone, just right, and burnt is usually a difference in cooking time of about 60-90 seconds. In other words, check every 60 seconds to make sure you catch it just when the bread is golden brown all over and the cheese is just beginning to melt. At this point flip the sandwich and repeat everything on the other side.
- That’s it, when the other side has browned and the cheese has completely melted, take it off the griddle and serve.
Traditionally, (I have absolutely no idea why) grilled cheese is often served with tomato soup. I generally select one of the canned variations of this soup. You could make your own tomato soup, but you might be moving out of the Geezer Zone of Comfort if you try this.
This sandwich is a great one for offering “Dear, let me make dinner tonight.” It’s is simple, but done right, always cheesy good.