April 16, 2011

The Perfect Grilled Cheese

37 degrees today on a late April Saturday felt like a good day for a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.

And if you didn’t know, I have some pretty strong feelings about grilled cheese sandwiches. No bacon, no tomato, no Gruyere, no fancy schmancy stuff for this girl. When I want a grilled cheese sandwich, I want the real thing. The way it was intended to be.

Sure, there are times when I’m open to versions of grilled cheese sandwiches with stuff in them. Surdyk’s at the airport has a pretty tasty grilled cheese with caramelized onions and fancy cheeses. In college, I got my veggies in by getting the caf’s grilled cheese with tomato.

But when I really am hankering for a grilled cheese, I get serious. No messing around. Cheese, butter, bread. Done.

That’s not to say that good quality ingredients aren’t key. My perfect grilled cheese sandwich needs to start with really good white bread. (Grilled cheese time is not the time to start trying to get in more whole grains.) Breadsmith’s Honey White is my grilled cheese bread of choice.

I use Land O Lakes butter because it’s all I’ve ever used. And because my friend Wendy works there and I feel a sense of loyalty to her when I buy my butter.

And for the cheese, I have a magic formula. One slice of white American. One slice of cheddar. You really need both. I love the combination they provide. The American gives it the saltiness that I like. The cheddar gives it dimension. Both give it ooey gooey melted-ness.

Frying pan gets heated on medium. Bread gets liberally slathered with room temp butter. Cheese gets put between slices of bread. And into the frying pan it all goes to get its nice golden brown lovely crunch.

While the sandwich cooks, I get out my plate and put a folded paper towel down on it. Don’t ask.

(I don’t like when hot grilled cheese sandwiches “sweat” on the plate.)

I think a grilled cheese always needs to be served with something uber simple. Today, it was carrot sticks. Sometimes, it’s apple sauce. Sometimes it’s Campbell’s tomato soup.

This grilled cheese sandwich has a way of getting my equilibrium back in check when I’m out of sorts. I bite in and get hit with creaminess, crunchiness, saltiness. And just like that, all is right with the world again.

1 comment:

  1. I've only ever used cheddar cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches. I'm definitely going to try the White American with it. Thanks for the tip! Keep the simple recipes going for simple cooks like me! :-)