Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

There is a lot more to making a good grilled cheese sandwich if you want it to be perfect: toasted on the outside, ooey gooey on the inside, with just the right amount of cheese.

For 2 sandwiches you will need:
Bread – 4 slices (see below)
Butter – softened at room temperature
Cheese – 8 slices total (see below)
Non-stick pan with a lid
Knife to spread butter

First start with the bread. We use a toasting bread. The bread needs to be firm and flavorful, the crust needs to be thin and soft.

Somehow cheese sandwiches are much better with more than one kind of cheese. I like Gruy√®re cheese, and some Colby or Monterrey Jack, in about equal amounts. You can use Fontina, Gouda, or Manchego. Don’t get carried away with the amount of cheese. I think about 4 slices per sandwich is the maximum.

Pre-warm the pan. You need to use a non-stick pan large enough for two sandwiches if you are making one for yourself and one for your honey. You never make them ahead of time. You want the pan warm, but not hot. Too hot and you will brown the bread before the cheese is melted. It is best to err on the side of too cool. You can always turn it up.

I start assembly on the serving plate. First the bread, then the cheeses, then the bread. I butter the top piece of bread on the plate, then carefully, with a spatula, lift and place the sandwich in the pan, butter side down. If you have slippage, push everything back together quickly. When you have both sandwiches in the pan, butter the top slice.

Now cover the pan with a lid. This is key to getting the right melt on the cheese. Using your nose as a guide you should be able to smell when the bread is beginning to toast. Quickly lift the lid and using the spatula, check under the sandwich to see how the browning is coming. Too slow, turn up the heat a bit, too fast, remove the pan from the heat and turn down the heat, wait for a minute then put pan back on heat and continue. When the bread is brown to your liking, using spatula, carefully flip the sandwiches and cover again. Keep checking and covering until they are perfect: bread brown, cheese melted.

Serve immediately.

Now goo make some!

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