How To Make The Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich
First, start with quality ingredients. Ditch the American cheese slices, and choose a quality mild or medium cheddar instead. Get a solid loaf of sliced white bread from a local bakery, instead of one of those spongy loaves from a national corporation. And use butter, instead of margarine.
Step 1: Pre-heat a skillet on the stove over medium. To test the pan, my grandmother used to run her hand under the faucet then flick her fingers at the pan. If the drops of water sizzle when they hit the pan, the pan is ready for cooking.
Step 2: Butter the outside of the bread slices, and assemble your cheese slices. 3-4 thin slices of cheese should do the trick. It’s better to overlap many thin slices, than to drop in one thick slice. Thinner slices melt better.
Step 3: Lay the first slice of bread in the pan, buttered side down. Stack the cheese slices, then put the final slice of bread on top (butter side up).
Step 4: Cook for about 3 minutes. You can test for doneness by peeking gently underneath the slice to see if it’s turned golden brown. Another test is when the sandwich moves freely if you nudge it gently with a spatula.
Step 5: Flip the sandwich (carefully!) and cook the other side. Cook the second side for 2-3 minutes. I find that the second side often cooks faster, because the pan continues to heat up.
Step 6: Remove the sandwich from the pan, and carefully flip it upside-down on the plate. In other words, you want the side that was just cooking to be facing upwards. This is important! If you put the hot side down, it steams the sandwich and causes it to get soggy and damp.
Serve plain, or with ketchup on the side.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich Variations:
- Use a different cheese (gouda, swiss, pepper jack).
- Use a different bread (marble rye is awesome for this).
- Add something to the middle of the cheese (thinly sliced tomato, a slice of bacon, thinly sliced red onion)
- Use a different sauce (steak sauce, ranch dressing, bleu cheese dressing, chipotle sauce, sriracha, wasabi).
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