Cooking for One: Grilled Cheese
Keep In Mind
I am writing this purely for fun. I am not making fun of anyone. If your cooking skills extend to pouring milk into a bowl for cereal there is nothing wrong with that. I hope that after reading this you can add making grilled cheese to your list. If you try to it ends up horrible I still give you an A. You tried and that is all anyone can ask of anyone.
So, I'm sure you are most likely wondering why I'm writing about grilled cheese. Trust me, I am too. I thought this was pretty much a staple in the American household. I thought it was pretty much the easiest thing to make. I thought everyone knew how to make one. I thought wrong. I dated a guy once that had no idea how to make a grilled cheese sandwich and thought I was the most amazing cook ever because I gave him one one day. I thought he must have been an anomaly. Again, I was wrong. I have had two coworkers in the last year come over and be amazed by my grilled cheese making ability.
I know its not my sandwich making abilities. Its the simple fact that these people really just have no idea how to make this particular sandwich. In a way I guess it would be like some one making me eggs Benedict or a latte at home. I enjoy both, but I have no idea how to make them. Hence why I order them when I am out.
So, I can't let others go through life without knowing how to make grilled cheese. Its un-American and weird. That being said, I'm going to share everything I have learned and have ever wanted to try. Some things might be strange, but sometimes we just need a little strangeness in our lives.
Plain or Fancy
There are many nights when I just want something quick and hot. Grilled cheese is perfect for that. I can whip one up in less then five minutes. It reminds me of home. My dad used to make us grilled cheese sandwiches when my mom would work late. He was the one that thought me how to make them, and its one of my fondest memories.
That being said, sometimes I crave a grilled cheese. And sometimes I want that sandwich to have more than just cheese. I've tried so many different combinations with this sandwich is ridiculous. Some of them are amazing: grilled turkey and cheese is one of my favorites for fall.
The sky is the limit and its really up to you what you want to add. Have fun with it. If it turns out horrible at least you'll have a laugh.
There are even cook books for grilled cheese!
So, I love peanut butter. I'm sure your thinking 'what does this have to do with grilled cheese?' Everything.
Grilled peanut butter is one of my favorites. Seriously. I love it. Word of advice: don't add jelly. The jelly melts out and just makes a huge mess all over the pan. I'm pretty sure the only time I used jelly it went all over the pan and left none on the sandwich. Pointless. However, honey and bananas work very well.
Try it. If you love peanut butter like I do you won't regret it.
Some things to Try
Try adding the following next time you make grilled cheese:
- Lunch meats (ham, turkey, roast beef and so on)
- Use olive oil and cracked pepper instead of butter
- Spice it up with crushed red pepper flakes
- You can never go wrong with bacon
- Change up the kind of bread (whole wheat, white, rye, sourdough)
- Avocado (I've never tried it, but I have wanted to for a long time)
- Change up the kind of cheese (velveeta, American, Swish, cheddar, gouda)
- Beer. Someone told me once that they soak the bread in a mixture of melted cheese and beer. I haven't tried it but it sounds amazing.
- Try serving the sandwich with extras. My family is a fan of ketchup, which I personally can't stomach. I like mine with barbecue sauce. Try it. You won'y regret it.
Things to pair with your grilled cheese:
- Soup (tomato and chicken noodle are two of my personal favorites, not to mention you can't have fall without tomato soup and grilled cheese)
Have you ever thought of making grilled cheese for breakfast? Simple cook and egg (your choose of how) and then make your grilled cheese, putting the egg on top the cheese. Add some cooked bacon or sausage and that sounds like a breakfast on the go to me.
Ingredients to Make One Grilled Cheese
- 2 Slices Bread, Your choice
- 1 Slice Cheese, Your choice
- Butter the outside of two slices of bread. Put the butter sides together, so that you don't get the butter everywhere, and put the piece of cheese on top.
- Turn on burner to medium heat. Allow the pan to heat up for a few moments.
- Take the piece of bread with the cheese and place it butter side down on the hot pan. Immediately follow with the other piece of bread butter side up on top of the cheese.
- Cook until desired doneness on the first side. I personally like mine to be a golden brown color, I don't really care for burnt food that much.
- Using a spatula, flip the sandwich to the other side and allow it to finish cooking. To be honest I typically turn off the heat at this point and allow the residual heat from the pan to finish the cooking process.
- Serve and enjoy!
So, you overestimated your hunger and made too much grilled cheese. It happens to the best of us. Thankfully, you can save the sandwich for later with no problem. I have had cold grilled cheese sandwiches at work for lunch more times than I can count. Though, if cold food isn't your thing you can simply reheat it in the microwave.
However, you are planning on having some sort of soup, stew, or chili I say save the sandwich. You can cut up the extra sandwiches into small pieces and put them on a cookie sheet. Put that cookie sheet in an over for a little bit, lets say at 360. Bam! Instant, almost at least, grilled cheese croutons. Now, doesn't that sound like it would awesome in tomato soup? Heck, I might even put them on a salad.
Some of my favorite combinations include:
- Sourdough with gouda, tomato, and bacon
- Whole wheat with swiss and turkey
- Whole wheat with cheddar and ham
- White bread with velveeta with barbecue sauce or tomato soup to dip it in
I can't believe I had so much to say about grilled cheese. Its something so simple yet so satisfying. I won't even lie, I probably make a grilled cheese sandwich at least once a week. I work long hours, and its perfect for when I get off late at night.
I hope this gave you something to think about. Have fun!