The grilled cheese sandwich is one of the best comfort foods out there. We all grew up eating them. Diners and restaurants offer them, upscale eateries even dare to add ham, turkey, onions, and other things to make it seem more of an adult food and call it a grilled cheese sandwich. Sounds more like a ham and cheese to me. But when we get right down to it, the good old basic two slices of bread with melted cheese in between them really just can’t be beat. Some people like to have tomato soup with theirs, I like mine with Mrs. Grass Chicken Noodle Soup (with a ton of added noodles to it). It takes me back to when I was a kid. Not the greatest soup ever, but who doesn’t love the egg in the package and getting to drop it in the water and watch it melt? Well I digress. Back to the task at hand the wonderfully simple yet delicious grilled cheese sandwich.
Now we want to start off with the bread. Although Wonder bread or some other generic white bread might be OK for the PBJ, we want a denser, more hearty bread that will stand up to the butter and cheese while cooking. I love a good potato bread for this, but a hearty wheat or oat nut does very nicely too.
Take a non-stick pan â€” or even better, a cast iron pan â€” and heat over low/medium heat. Take butter (or margarine or spread of your choice) and liberally apply to one side of the bread. Place this piece butter-side down in the pan and add the cheese of your choice to the top of the bread in the pan. I prefer American, but a cheddar or provolone works well too. Butter the second piece of bread and place butter-side up on top of the cheese.
Cook the bread until it is a nice brown color then flip and cook until the other side is the same color as the first side. Now, this is the most important part: When you put the sandwich on the plate, it has to be cut diagonally. Cutting horizontally or not cutting at all just doesn’t give it the same flavor. Trust me!
I will leave it up to you if you feel the need to add a slice or two of tomato to your sandwich. It’s not my thing, but it seems to be a popular addition. Now I would say if you wanted to add bacon to your sandwich that would be OK, because as everyone knows bacon makes everything better.
Brian H., Grayslake, Illinois
P.S. For a unique spin on the traditional grilled cheese sandwich, check out this Tex Mex grilled cheese recipe.