Thursday, March 13, 2014

An elegant grilled cheese

Grilled cheese. 

I love the sound of it. And the smell: warm bread, melty cheese, frying butter. 

And there is something about biting into a grilled cheese sandwich that perfectly couples crunchy and gooey at the same moment. 

On Monday night, I left after an afternoon of volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House (more on that later), and stopped by Whole Foods. Something about bread and gouda jumped out at me, and I began craving a grilled cheese. 

When I make a grilled cheese sandwich, I don't play. I picked up a rustic whole wheat olive bread and fresh gouda cheese. At home, I got to work. After roasting some squash and bell peppers, I made my amazingly delicious sandwich. 

Let me share some thoughts on the whole sandwich front:

-Bread needs to be thin-ish. In order for the cheese to melt and the crust to get decently crispy, the bread cannot be too think. 

-Cheese. Don't go too crazy. Think quality over quantity. A bit of sharp cheddar is better than a mound of bland cheese. I love gouda, cheddar, and swiss. 

-Add-ins. Don't be shy. roasted veggies, fruit jams, fresh tomatoes, spinach. I could go on and on. 

-Method: Heat a non-stick skillet on low. Either spray the pan with olive oil, or butter a slice of bread. Place butter side down in the heated skillet. Top bread with some sliced cheese, add toppings, and sandwich more cheese. Top the entire thing with another slice of (buttered) bread. Continue grilling on low until the cheese is melted and the bread on the bottom is golden brown. Flip and let the other side of bread brown. Serve and enjoy!

Classic Combos:
1. Mozzarella + tomato + fresh basil 
2. Swiss + blackberry or strawberry jam
3. Cheddar + spinach + tomato


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