Before I could make a soufflé or cook a juicy Thanksgiving turkey, I wasn’t the sharpest knife in the kitchen, if you know what I mean. That is, until I discovered the grilled cheese sandwich. Savory cheddar cheese oozing over the edges of two crunchy, properly golden slices of bread…it’s flawless in its simplicity. Even at my most inept, I could always rely on grilled cheese to make me appear culinarily capable. Offering an almost immediate payoff for little effort, this is quite possibly the world’s most perfect sandwich.
As life took me from the home I grew up in, to my first dorm room, on through to my first mortgage, the grilled cheese followed. White bread became heartier; cheese became French and unpronounceable. Eventually I added dips, or perhaps tomato soup or a light vinaigrette. Acidic additions such as pickles and tomatoes appeared from time to time, and bacon because…well, bacon. Still today, each bite fills me with warm nostalgia and I smile as the flavorful goodness delights my taste buds.
How do you master this American staple? Hot sandwiches are always satisfying and one can never go wrong with classic grilled cheese, but if you’re seeking something new, try these three fresh takes:
Sometimes you just want the original, but with a little something extra. This Hearty Grilled Cheese fits the bill nicely. All of the classic elements are here but with turkey breast, red onions, and multi-grain bread to take it to the next level.
This Over-Easy Cheesy BLT has everything going its way. One egg (which makes it perfect for breakfast-time too, right?) and two cheeses partner with lettuce and tomato atop a French baguette. Coin this one the “anytime.”
The ultimate combination of sweet and savory are married atop spicy mustard and gooey cheddar in this grown-up Savory Honey Dijon Melt, pictured above I love the added touch of pear slices, which compliment the richness of this sandwich with a refreshing light flavor.