Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Making The Worlds Best Grilled Sandwich

A good grilled cheese sandwich is one of life's most sublime pleasures, unfortunately most grilled cheese sandwiches consist of two slices of indifferently toasted greasy slices of stale white bread haphazardly slapped together around lukewarm gummy "cheese food" center.  I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family in which the grilled cheese sandwich was held in Eucharistic regard.  The secret to a good grilled cheese, as with almost all things cooking related is: good ingredients well prepared.  The perfect grilled cheese is one with evenly browned bread - crisp on the outside and moist on the inside and a filling of creamy melted cheese (hot but not scalding).  Seems simple, and it is if you follow a few guidelines;
1. Use whatever bread you like, I personally like a French Pullman loaf
2. Use Real butter, softened
3. Use decent cheese (I like Cabot extra sharp cheddar)
4. Use a good frying pan (or griddle)
5. Place a grill press or small pan on the sandwich while cooking (don't push down on it)
6. Get the correct temperature, usually med low (drop some butter in the hot pan if your not sure, it should foam and brown after a bit, but not sizzle and burn.
7. Use your sense of smell and your eyes, if it smells like it might be burning, it probably is.
8. I like dijon mustard and or tomatoes on my grilled cheese

That being said, here is how I do it;
A: Set pan temp and pre-heat the pan
B: While the pan is heating. cut the cheese and assemble the sandwich, buttering one side evenly.
C: Place sandwich butter side down in the pan and place grill press or other weight on top.
D: Use your spatula and sneak a peek every once in a while.
E: Once you are satisfied with the browning,  place the sammy brown side down on a plate and butter remaining side.
F: Repeat C & D until done and cheese is melted
G: Let cheese cool a bit and cut diagonally. (This keeps the cheese from spewing out the sides)


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