Only a grilled cheese sandwich will do in certain situations. You get what I’m saying? Similarly, there are instances when the only vegetarian choice I can locate is a grilled cheese sandwich.
I set out to develop my perfect grilled cheese recipe after having some disappointing grilled cheese sandwiches in the past. I tried to make my go-to grilled cheese sandwich, which I can make whenever the urge arises. I wanted upscale flavor without using any challenging ingredients or techniques. Or else, grilled cheese it is!
I should also admit that one day I hope to become well-known for my grilled cheese sandwiches. Not famous on the internet, but renowned in the neighborhood as the mom who makes the tastiest grilled cheese. I want to be able to make grilled cheese sandwiches well enough to impress my future kids. Is that asking too much?
So, here it is: the recipe for my favorite grilled cheese. In my opinion, it is genuinely epic. I have a few tips and tricks, so keep reading to learn them.
The Basics of Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
These are the grilled cheese recipes I’ve tried, including ones with mayo on the outside, and they’ve all been successful.
1) Begin with delicious bread.
This is not to suggest that you can’t utilize any of the bread you currently have in your pantry. To get the most wonderful flavor, though, I advise purchasing some crusty whole grain or normal sourdough if you have the possibility.
2) Add a slice of sharp, premium cheddar cheese on top.
We want to get the strong flavor of sharp cheddar. You definitely can’t skimp on the cheese while making a grilled cheese sandwich or you’ll be let down.
3. Use plenty of butter.
To get the desired crackly-crisp, buttery, golden exterior, you need a sufficient amount of butter. If you always keep a stick of butter on the counter, all you need to do is liberally apply it on the bread’s crusts. You can melt some butter in the skillet before adding the bread if you don’t (I don’t).
4) Hand-grate the cheese.
The starch in pre-shredded cheeses prevents them from sticking to one another but also stops your cheese from melting into oozy nothingness. We want oozy forgetfulness.
5) While the grilled cheese is cooking, cover it.
As a result of the heat being trapped, your grilled cheese will have enough time to melt completely without burning.
View Sandwiches Made with Grilled Cheese
Bonus Grilled Cheese Advice
A crunchy, cheesy outer crust completes your grilled cheese sandwich.
My grandmother Mimi used to perform this technique. Perhaps you have seen it at a restaurant and are curious how it operates. Depending on how non-stick your pan is, it can prove to be a little challenging. It’s worth a try if you have a cast iron skillet that’s been well-seasoned.
Simply top the buttery skillet with some additional grated cheese and place the hot sandwich on top. Wait a few more seconds after the cheese has stopped sizzling as you continue to listen before turning it back over. Ta da.
Notes on non-stick skillets: Since they are non-toxic, I have always advised using cast iron or stainless steel skillets wherever practical. I was testing out a non-stick “ceramic” skillet from Green Pan as I worked on this article. Although it was sufficiently non-stick to prepare these sandwiches, I no longer advise using this pan. Look here for the section on ceramic non-stick pans.
My Favorite Grilled Cheese Recipe
Here’s how to upgrade a simple grilled cheese to a sophisticated, gourmet version. Take my fundamental techniques (explained above) and incorporate a few more components. How big of a difference they make will amaze you! Nevertheless, if you’re feeding a picky child, you can omit these.
Your bread should have a thin layer of Dijon mustard on it.
I’m talking about a thin layer covering only one piece of bread. Even if you don’t like mustard, this gives your sandwich a little something extra. You’re going to adore it, and it’s a touch salty and complicated.
Include green onions.
Alliums, which are members of the onion and garlic family, have the ability to make bland foods completely appealing. Green onions are something I always have in my refrigerator, and adding some chopped raw green onions (green sections only) is a simple way to give your sandwich a taste boost.
Also read: Mujadara (Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions)
- 2 large slices of whole grain sourdough, or your favorite crusty bread
- Enough Dijon mustard for a thin layer across one slice of bread (about 1 ½ teaspoons)
- 1 cup lightly packed (3 ounces) freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, plus a little more for sprinkling on the outside (optional)
- 2 teaspoons chopped green onion, green parts only
- Unsalted butter, for melting in the pan (about 2 teaspoons)
- Spread Dijon mustard lightly across one side of one slice of bread. You’re aiming for a very thin layer. Stir the green onion into the grated cheese, and set aside.
- Melt a pat of butter (about 1 teaspoon) in a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat (or a large skillet, if you’re planning on making two sandwiches at once). Once melted, place the mustardy slice of bread into the skillet, with the mustard side facing up.
- Top the slice with the oniony cheese (aim for about a ¾-inch layer of cheese). Then place the remaining slice of bread on top. Cover the skillet with a lid, and cook for several minutes, or until the underside of the bread is golden.
- Remove the sandwich from the skillet with a spatula, and add another pat of butter to the skillet. Once melted, carefully flip the other side of the sandwich against the buttered pan. Cover and cook until the underside of the bread is nice and golden, and the cheese is all melted. If the bread is browning before the cheese has melted, dial down the heat as necessary.
- Optional, if you want a cheesy crust on the outside of the sandwich and you’re working with a truly non-stick skillet: Remove the nearly-finished sandwich with a spatula. Sprinkle a bit more grated cheese into the pan in a toast-sized shape, and flip the sandwich back over onto the cheese. Let it cook until you no longer hear any sizzle, and then a few seconds longer.
- Remove the sandwich with your spatula. Place it onto a cutting board and let it cool for a minute or two. Gently cut it in half down the middle using a serrated knife, and serve warm.