The Essentials of Grilled Cheese
How to get it right, every time
Grilled cheese may ‘technically’ be a sandwich – a filling in between 2 slices of bread – but in reality it is so much more than that! It’s a comforting blend of salty, crispy, gooey, and it makes a great breakfast or any-time snack. The prefect grilled cheese must be evenly golden brown, glistening with butter, and the cheese must ooze out ever so slightly from the edges of the sandwich. The crust must be crisp, yet must yield when you bite into it, and it certainly should not be as hard as regular toast. Hungry yet? We show you how to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.
This is of paramount importance. The cheese you choose MUST melt to a gooey consistency when grilled. Moderately acidic cheeses such as Gouda, Gruyere or Manchego are best. Or try cheeses such as Havarti, Fontina, Muenster, and Pepper Jack, all of which make great grilled cheese sandwiches. Avoid sharp varieties of cheese such as Parmigiano, blue cheese, and sharp cheddar as these break down and clump when heated, ruining the texture of the grilled sandwich. Also, avoid high moisture cheese such as mozzarella, Brie, and cream cheese as these might become too stringy or completely breakdown and leave an unpleasant mess.
Things to remember
- Use a shallow frying pan or a skillet to make the grilled cheese. A non-stick pan is your best bet, though a well-seasoned cast iron pan will also work.
- Keep the heat low. This is the most important thing while making grilled cheese. It’s the only way to get the cheese to melt properly while toasting the bread to golden brown perfection.
- For best results, slice the cheese uniformly, or better yet, grate the cheese. This will increase the surface area and allow the heat to spread quickly so that the cheese melts evenly.
- Don’t be stingy while buttering the bread. You can either melt the butter in the pan or spread it on the bread – either way, make sure there’s enough or you will end up with a dry sandwich.
- Put the pan on a low heat. Meanwhile grate the cheese and spread it evenly on the bread slice.
- Top it with another slice, and then generously butter the breads.
- Put the sandwich on the heated pan, and keep the heat low. After a couple of minutes, turn it over.
- Flip the sandwich another two times till it’s evenly brown and crispy, and till the cheese has oozed out a bit.
Gourmet it up
While plain grilled cheese is already perfect, you can try notching it up a level or two with these gourmet grilled cheese ideas:
- Does avocado toast and grilled cheese sound like a match made in heaven? Mash the avocado and spread it on the bread. Top it with cheese and roasted tomatoes, place another bread slice on top and grill.
- Bacon makes everything better, so just add a few rashers of it into your grilled cheese.
- Add roasted veggies (mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini etc.) into the cheese sandwich before grilling.
- Give your grilled cheese the Hawaiian touch by stuffing it with pineapple and ham.
- For a truly decadent grilled cheese, lightly cook a handful of blueberries in sugar and vinegar, spread them on bread, top with cheese, spinach or rocket, and another slice of bread, and grill.
Want to cook up some delicious grilled cheese this week? Here are our favourite recipes: