The grilled cheese plays varied roles in our lives–it may be the lunchtime diner order: two slices of white bread with gooey American cheese. It may be the late-night snack: leftover whole wheat with slices of Swiss eaten after a stressful day, à la The Devil Wears Prada. And, more and more often, it maybe be gourmet: great artisan bread, imported cheese, and fresh vegetables.
That’s the situation here. We matched slices of sourdough bread with Danish fontina cheese, which melts into an extraordinarily gooey filling. We’ve also stuffed summer heirloom tomatoes, spicy leaves of rocket, and rings of red onion in between the bread.
Delicious as they are, the ingredients aren’t everything in a grilled cheese. There’s technique too. You’ve got to get the bread crispy at the same rate as the cheese melts. You’ve got to use enough fat–butter or olive oil–in the pan so that the bread gets really golden. Below, we’re rounded up our tips for making great grilled cheese sandwiches. As if that weren’t enough, we asked our facebook fans for their tips on crafting the perfect grilled cheese. Read on to become a sandwich pro!
**10 Tricks for the Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich**
- Use a melty cheese. Fontina is a great option. We love gruyere too.
- Toast your bread first. This is optional, but a quick toast will help your bread develop the golden edges and luscious crisp we’re after. It’ll also help prevent your fillings from making the bread soggy.
- Place the bread cheese side down. This helps the cheese get really melty while you’re cooking side #1 of the bread. Then, when you flip the sandwich to cook side #2, the cheese is nearly there.
- Add flavor with great filling ingredients: fresh or sautéed vegetables, avocado slices, bacon, and pesto are all great flavor builders.
- Press down on the sandwich with your spatula.This flattens the exterior against the hot pan, ensuring even cooking.
- The best grilled cheese has a THIN layer of mayo on the grilled-sides of both pieces of bread instead of butter. No grease, crispier bread, and meltier cheese! -Alyssa Kevlahan
- Melt butter in the microwave, then brush the bread before putting it on the pan. Makes for the perfect medium browning throughout. Can use olive oil, in place of butter. But butter is better! -Christopher Perusse
- Sounds weird but bread and butter pickles and potato chips- on the sandwich. Yum! -Danni Skaricki
- Dijon mustard and multi-grain or sourdough bread. -Jane Rizza Scammon
- My son’s grilled cheese trick, at the age of 8, was to toast his bread in the toaster. Butter both sides of both bread slices, place cheese between the bread slices and microwave for 40 seconds. He made me one once, it was actually pretty good. -Doug Riggle