Is there anything better in the world than a great grilled cheese sandwich?
Simple cheesy gooey joy. One bite into a great grilled cheese with just the right amount of buttery golden bread on the outside and melted cheese on the inside and I am a happy 5-year-old all over again!
For my catering business one of our most popular hors d'oeuvres is a shot of tomato soup with a small grilled cheese wedge stuck into the top of the shot glass. Truthfully most folks eat the grilled cheese and forget all about the soup.
There are countless ways to make grilled cheese, but I'm partial to the classics.
Classic Grilled Cheese
Takes 10 minutes
4 slices of white bread
4 slices of cheddar or American cheese
1 plop of sweet or salted butter
Optional: 1 plop of mayonnaise, smidgen of salt
I love to keep my grilled cheese simple.
Generously butter the outside of two slices of white bread and put two slices of cheddar cheese inside to make a sandwich. Then throw down the buttered side onto a preheated skillet, or a flat top griddle, or a stovetop grill or an outside grill or your mama's cast iron skillet. Whatever floats your boat.
Cook over medium heat. If you go too high with the heat your bread will brown before your cheese melts and that's a grilled cheese no no.
When the bread is golden flip to the other side and repeat. Figure about two to three minutes per side. You will know you're done when the bread is brown and the cheese is melted and I'm ringing your doorbell begging for some.
Some folks like to spread a little mayonnaise on the outside of the bread for extra crunch. But I'm a butter babe myself. I am also a gluten free babe these days, so I substitute with gluten free bread.
If you use sweet butter you may want to give your babies a sprinkle of salt before you throw them down, but they are good to go any way you slice it (pun intended).
You can use Monterey Jack or Swiss cheese or any great sliced cheese that melts easily instead. But I am an old-fashioned cheese girl. Give me cheddar or American cheese please.
There are a million yummarific things you can add to this basic grilled cheese recipe. The trick is to shove whatever you add between the two slices of cheese inside. So it's a sandwich inside a sandwich.
Here is a very VERY short list of awesome add-on goodness;
Two or three slices of crispy cooked bacon.
Two or three slices of tomato any kind
Two or three slices of pickles. I like dill pickle chips
Two basil leaves
Two or three slices of pickled jalapeño
Two or three slices of roasted bell pepper.
One or two slices of deli meat.
Almost any kind of sliced deli meat can work, but here are two of my favorite winners.
Grilled ham and cheese
One slice of smoked ham in between your cheese and you've got the sandwich of the carnivore gods!
New York Deli Grilled Cheese
For a NYC grilled cheese, add three slices of pastrami in between two slices of Swiss cheese.
Smear a plop of yellow mustard on the inside of one of the pieces of bread.
Served with half-sour pickles and a smile!
Now get down and get cheesy!