Great grilled cheese? It start with the bread and goes from there. A couple of requests have come in for this. Here’s everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask!
Grilled Cheese Sandwich Primer 101:
For starters, with all the recipes I’m sharing, here’s what’s important:
- The bread. Must be high quality bread, STURDY bread,
Careful not to get a bread that’s too “holey” – if it has real big holes, the filling will ooze out.
- The butter. Use real butter, and plenty of it.
- The cheese. Again, high quality.
- The pan. A Panini grill pan works well. Or a heavy duty skillet. Heat before placing sandwich on, and use a plate to weigh sandwich down,
Sophisticated Grilled Cheese
I use sourdough for this.
Preparing the bread:
First, butter your bread: Spread room temperature butter onto one side of each bread slice, about a teaspoon or so per slice, depending upon the size of the bread. Be generous.
Filling: Mix together:
1 cup each Swiss or Gruyere and White or Yellow Cheddar, shredded
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon each: Dijon or yellow mustard and 1 chopped green onion or a generous tablespoon or so of red onion
Grill until bread is toasted and cheese is melted.
Good add in: Arugula leaves on top of the mixture before grilling.
Reuben Grilled Cheese.
I like sourdough rye for this, or a hearty, thick plain rye.
1/4 pound real deli corned beef, chopped or shredded
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sauerkraut, well drained
1/2 cup each: Swiss and Cheddar, shredded
Follow instructions for Sophisticated Grilled Cheese. Serve with side of Thousand Island dressing and pickles.
BLT Grilled Cheese
Adapted from Cooking Light.
1 cup sliced red onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon butter or more as needed
1 generous cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
8 slices hearty fairly thick white bread, like Pepperidge Farm, prepared as instructed in Sophisticated Grilled Cheese
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
6 slices bacon, cooked
Heat skillet. Add butter, onion and garlic; cook for 10 minutes or until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over each of 4 bread slices. Top each slice with 1/2 cup spinach, 2 tomato slices, 2 tablespoons onion mixture, and 1 1/2 bacon slices. Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons cheese; top with the remaining 4 bread slices.
3. Heat skillet over medium heat. Place sandwiches in pan, and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cheese melts. Makes 4.
Grilled Cheese Croutons
So good with a steaming bowl of tomato soup!
4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices country white bread
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 ounces (1 generous cup) Gruyere, Swiss or Cheddar cheese, shredded
Prepare bread as instructed in Sophisticated Grilled Cheese. Turn the slices over and pile Gruyere on two of the slices. Divide cheese among bread.
Cook until golden on both sides. Place on a cutting board, allow to rest for 1 minute and cut into 1-inch cubes. Place on top of soup right before serving.
Grilled Cheddar and Bacon on Raisin Bread
Here’s where that griddle comes in handy. An omelet or crepe pan will do, too. The combination of slightly sweet raisins and sharp cheddar elevates the whole premise of the humble grilled cheese. Comfort food at its best!
Butter or substitute
4 slices raisin bread, unfrosted
1/4 pound thinly sliced extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
4 slices cooked bacon
On a piece of waxed paper, parchment or foil, butter one side of each bread slice and turn slices over. Arrange Cheddar on unbuttered sides, covering bread evenly, and top 2 cheese-lined slices with bacon. Flip remaining cheese-topped bread onto bacon. Heat a griddle over moderate heat until hot and cook sandwiches, pressing lightly with a spatula, until undersides are golden. Turn over and cook, pressing again, until undersides are golden and cheese is melted. Serves 2.
Other yummy combos:
Pesto/Turkey Grilled Cheese:
Use roasted turkey, pestso, mozzarella on sourdough
Plain Grilled Cheese (I know some of you crave this!).
Use 3 thin deli slices of American cheese per sandwich. Good add-ons are sliced red onion, sliced ham, red pepper, roasted or not.