Thrill of the Grill(ed) Cheese Sandwich

January 15, 2010

Every once in awhile a person needs to give into their comfort food cravings. One of mine is a good grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.

It’s sad that what I see passing for “grilled cheese” in some restaurants makes me shudder. Spongy bread oozing with something very artificially orange looking and served with a withered pickle should not be allowed to pass go.

There is a better grilled cheese sandwich.

The bread is critical; it should be one that will compliment the taste of the cheese and also stand up to grilling in a panini maker or in a good old fashioned frying pan. I like rye, multigrain or pumpernickel with sharp cheese like cheddar or a good sourdough with cheeses like Italian fontina or an aged swiss.

Choose real, not imitation cheese. And choose good melting cheeses like the ones above. If you choose to use a frying pan, first butter (do not use margarine) the outside of both slices of bread as well as the inside. Layer the cheese of your choice on one slice and top with the other.

Get the frying pan hot. Place the sandwich in the pan and press down with a metal spatula. When the bread is brown and toasted on the underside, turn the sandwich over and brown the other side.

As soon as the cheese begins to melt, remove the sandwich from the pan. Enjoy.

If you’re using a panini maker, follow the manufacturers instructions for heating the grill. Place sandwich on grill and close lid. As soon as grill marks appear and the cheese has melted, remove and serve.

The next time you say grilled cheese, please, make sure it’s the real thing.

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