It's winter and nothing is more comforting than grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. I've been running into quite a few grilled cheese recipes in different places lately so I decided to consolidate some of the more unique ideas I've found for bringing one to life.
On Yahoo Food, there is a list of their 10 tips for making a great grilled cheese. To paraphrase them: 1. Grate the cheese, instead of slicing it. 2. Use a lot of cheese. 3. Don't worry about cheese oozing out the sides. 4. No white bread (but who uses that anymore?). 5. Slice your bread thick (but who slices bread anymore?). 6. Smush the bread with a spatula. 7. Butter the bread (obvious). 8. Use salted butter (if you even have some, but who keeps that?). 9. Use a non-stick. 10. Cover the pan with a lid.
I think we can take this one step further. From Saveur's Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich they declare simply, "The secret to making a perfect grilled cheese sandwich is cooking it over low heat, which brings out the subtle flavors of a cheese, and slathering the bread with butter, which crisps it in the pan."
They also bring us our first tip:
1. Use Comté instead of the usual Cheddar.
2. Use artesian or specialty breads like walnut bread, olive bread, etc. Or, use the ubiquitous Ezekiel Sprouted Grain. When you've only got two ingredients, bread and cheese, you can't skimp on either.
3. Spread mayo on the side of bread to fry instead of butter, this makes it crispier. "Really?" "Yes, it's wonderful." Although I love my Miracle Whip, I wouldn't substitute it here.
4. Add sliced tomato and some fresh basil inside.
5. Add thinly sliced apples.
6. Don't forget your salt and pepper.
8. Put a slice of roasted red bell pepper inside, mmm.
9. Simultaniously use two really hot cast iron pans and use the bottom of one to squish and fry the top of the grilled cheese while it rests in the other. This is a great technique for banging out a large quantity of sandwiches in half the time.
10. Make it with an iron. "Set your iron to the highest setting, usually cotton."
- Dave Koch