Spice it Up: How to Elevate a Grilled Cheese

September 11, 2015

Spice it Up: How to Elevate a Grilled Cheese

Making a grilled cheese is a pretty basic step where almost anyone can start cooking for the first time. There’s also always the people that jump right in to cooking like I did, but grilled cheese is a good start for even the worst of cooks.

I’d never thought that I’d contemplate differences in cheese until I started cooking and really tasting what I was making. Cheese is a very important part of making a grilled cheese yummy. Personally, I like to use sandwich cheese that’s sold at a deli, but even Kraft American cheese is pretty good. Really, there’s so many different varieties of cheese that you can use to create a different taste, so try them all and see what fits.

There’s also the option of throwing in an extra ingredient into a grilled cheese – there’s so many proteins that can be thrown into a grilled cheese to elevate it and make it extraordinary. I’ve used ham, turkey, chicken breast, and even pepperoni, but there’s also things like bacon, tomato, mushrooms, and so much more.

Personally, I think that a grilled cheese is fine alone, but there’s always the option of having a soup, dressing, or something pickled to go along with it. Something basic, so that the flavor of the grilled cheese isn’t masked. There’s the option of things as basic as tomato soup, pickles, and ranch, and then there’s the more complicated sides like pureed lentil soup, pickled jalapenos, and even something like coleslaw.

Now to the mechanics of it all, making the sandwich.

Butter.

I live by cooking with butter. In my mind, the more butter the better. Butter is a really basic staple in almost all cooking, grilled cheeses included. In order to make a good grilled cheese, you have to be very heavy on buttering the sides of the bread.

After buttering the sides of the bread, its time to decide what type of cheese and extra ingredients to put in it. Turn the stove on medium with the pan on the stove-top so that everything’s heated up when needed.

Next is building the sandwich.

I suggest building it in the pan, putting in one piece of bread, buttered side down, then setting the cheese and other ingredients on the unbuttered side that’s facing up, and finally putting the second piece of bread on top, buttered side up.

Now it’s time to let it cook.

Let it sit until the side is a golden brown, and then flip and do the same to the other side. It’s okay if the side isn’t fully done when flipped the first time, just let that side cook for a bit longer.

When both sides are a nice golden brown color, and the edges of the sandwich have cooked together because of the cheese, the sandwich is done.

Ta-dah, you have an elevated grilled cheese. So grab a napkin and a side (if you want) and eat up.

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