Favorite Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Sometimes only a grilled cheese sandwich will do. You know what I mean? Likewise, sometimes a grilled cheese sandwich is the only vegetarian option I can find.
I’ve been disappointed by some grilled cheese sandwiches in my life, so I set out to create my ultimate grilled cheese recipe. I aimed for a favorite grilled cheese sandwich that I could make any time the craving strikes. I wanted gourmet flavor without any complicated ingredients or methods. Grilled cheese now, or bust.
I should also confess that I want to be famous for my grilled cheese sandwiches someday. Not internet-famous, but neighborhood-famous as the mom who makes the best grilled cheese. I want my future children to brag about my grilled cheese sandwich skills. Is that too much to ask?
So, here we are, and here is my favorite grilled cheese recipe. It is truly epic, as far as I’m concerned. Keep on reading for my tips and tricks, because I have a few
General Grilled Cheese Sandwich Tips
I’ve sampled a lot of the grilled cheese ideas out there (including mayo on the outside), and these are the ones that work for me.
1) Start with great bread.
Now, this isn’t to say that you can’t use any bread that you have in your pantry already. If you have the option, however, I suggest buying some crusty whole grain or regular sourdough for maximally awesome flavor.
2) Top with high quality, sharp cheddar cheese.
Sharp cheddar has a lot of flavor, and that’s what we’re going for. When it comes to a grilled cheese, you really can’t go light on the cheese, or you’re going to be disappointed.
3) Don’t skimp on the butter.
You need enough butter to achieve the crackly-crisp, buttery, golden exterior that we all crave. If you always keep a stick of butter on the counter, you can simply spread the softened butter generously over the outside pieces of bread. If you don’t (I don’t), you can melt a pat of butter in the skillet before you add the bread.
4) Grate the cheese yourself.
Pre-shredded cheeses are lightly coated in starch so they don’t stick together, but the starch prevents your cheese from melting into gooey oblivion. We want gooey oblivion.
5) Cover your grilled cheese while it cooks.
This helps trap the heat, which ensures that your grilled cheese has time to melt all the way through without burning on the outside.
Grilled Cheese Bonus Tip
Finish your grilled cheese with a crispy, cheesy outer crust.
This is a trick that my grandmother Mimi used to pull off. Maybe you have encountered it at a restaurant and wondered how it works. It can be a little tricky, depending on how non-stick your pan is. If you have a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, it’s worth a shot.
Simply sprinkle some additional grated cheese over your buttery skillet, and flip the hot sandwich over on top of it. Listen, and once the cheese has stopped sizzling, wait a few more moments longer before flipping it back over. Ta da.
Non-stick skillet notes: I have always recommended using cast iron or stainless steel skillets when possible, since they’re non-toxic. When I worked on this post, I’d been testing out a non-stick “ceramic” skillet from Green Pan. While it was non-stick enough to successfully make