Read part two - grilled cheese and grape jelly
We're on a bit of a grilled cheese kick at Eatocracy HQ. This weekend, our boss took to the streets of Atlanta in search of the finest specimen the city had to offer, and unsated, her mission continues. Back in the Northeast, staff loyalties are split between New York City's Bouchon Bakery, with the above pictured grilled fontina & gruyère cheese on pain au lait (fancy!) and Sharon Springs, New York's Black Cat Cafe, boasting a Wild Julia with lashings of Frank's Red Hot sauce and crunchy pepita seeds (zesty!).
No one's saying it's got to get that fussy. Some deeply fond childhood memories entail plastic-swaddled Kraft singles, Wonder bread and a hot skillet, then morph to dorm rooms reeking of bread scorched with tell-tale steam iron vents. There are very few bad grilled cheese sandwiches (though if there are, we'd love to hear), but there's no reason why we can't pursue perfection.
Here's where you come in. Share your favorite venues, as well as at-home tweaks and tricks, and together, we shall build a superior andwich. We'll share the best ones in an upcoming feature, along with pro tips from Laura Werlin, the woman who wrote the definitive book on what makes grilled cheese so goshdarned great.
Yes there should realize the opportunity to RSS commentary, quite simply, CMS is another on the blog.
Grilled Cheese is best when you butter both the inside and the outside of the bread, then when you've made the sandwich you dip it in syrup! (yes maple syrup)
Love the way my Mommy made 'em way back when...Velveeta, white bread, Blue Bonnet margarine. Almost always served with tomato soup. My way now, is if I have fontina and gruyere on hand, it has to have heavy whole grain bread. Real butter. When I make Velveeta ones, it has to be sourdough or buttermilk bread. I toast the bread lightly first(this makes them extra crisp). Then again, real butter, grilled in a cast iron skillet.
Have you guys tried THE AMERICAN Grilled Cheese Kitchen in San Francisco? Their Mushroom Gruyere sandwich is to die for. In fact...it's my favorite guilty pleasure....fontina, gruyère, roasted wild mushrooms + gold potatoes, melted leeks, caramelized onions, thyme butter. And their breakfast menu drives me crazy – they use a fresh over-easy fried egg in every sandwich. Try the breakfast piglet: sharp cheddar, ham, egg, apple mustard, rosemary butter. http://theamericansf.com/
My Favorite grilled Cheeser was from a Cafe called "cafe del Sol".
It's Out of business now. But, OMG, they had something Special!
Fresh sour dough french bread, olive oiled and grilled; Flip the french bread, place mayo, dungeness
crab, thai basil, swiss, smoked gouda, and grated cheddar..placed under the broiler for two minutes. OMG!
Best grilled cheese ever is at Cafe Brazil in the north Dallas area. Asiago, Monterey, Cheddar, Feta, and Avocado.
The Glastonbury Coffee Shop in Glastobury, Connecticut!!! Best and butteriest grilled cheese ever!
White bread, buttered. Medium sharp cheddar, slowly grilled for that nice all-over browning. Plain potato chips sandwiched (forgive the pun) inbetween slices AFTER grilling the sandwhich is delicious. Also, I've fried Bacon Spam and slipped it inbetween the slices of bread, along with bacon. Greasy, but really good! The bacon provides a nice crisp, and the Spam is more filling than just the normal thin ol' grilled cheese. Want one now just thinking about it...
I love making grilled cheese. Some tips to making a good or interesting one:
1. The biggest reason I put butter on the bread is to give the cheese time to melt before the bread burns. The rich taste is a nice side benefit.
2. As gross as it is, I love American cheese for grilled cheese. Nothing quite melts as nicely or evenly as American cheese. Maybe that's because plastic isn't often used as food!
3. For a more interesting one with real cheeses, I use cheddar and bit of feta. The feta adds a nice bite and soaks up a good portion of the grease from the cheddar.
4. I put a tiny, tiny sprinkle of garlic powder on the outside of the bread. Not enough to be garlic bread, but enough to barely taste it. Really nice flavor.
For my grilled sheese sandwich, I like to put well cooked smoked bacon broken up into bits and then add ketchup right inside the sandwich and cook it all together. Exellent with a medium Cheddar cheese.. for a little extra zest, add Montery Jack to it! YUM! I just got hungry thinking about ti!
Using mayo instead of butter and then sprinkling ground parmesan cheese on the outside is the best. In the sandwich ill use sharp cheddar and american, and sometimes add a couple strips of bacon.
I use a home made pimiento cheese spread on, preferably on a good baguette sliced diagonally or ciabata. I make the pimiento with the sharpest cheddar I can find. (If I can find it I use a raw milk cheddar.) I can find. Usually if I have to buy it at the local chain I use Cabot's extra sharp. Throw some cheese, pimientos (Roland if available) and mayo (in the south I use Dukes) into the blender and spin it to the desired texture. Some people like it smooth and creamy, others kind of chunky. Every now and then I add green chiles for a bit of heat. I like to a thin coating of mayo on the outside of both slices a bit of butter in the pan. The combo of the mayo flavor and butter on toasty exterior with the bite of the sharp cheese and the sweetness of the peppers is perfect for a cold day.
Melt Bar and Grilled in Lakewood, OH is the greatest grilled cheese sandwich restaurant on earth, hands down. The Porky Cheese with added caramel port onions on top is dreamy.
I tried the mayo thing last night- used Kraft Hot and Spicy on whole grain white bread w/good ol' American Cheese. Yumaroo..thanks to all who suggested it. Never would have thought to use mayo before!
Best venue for grilled cheese? No contest, it's Melt Bar and Grilled in Lakewood Ohio. Lots of choices from simple cheeses to lake Erie Perch, Tokyo Tuna, Veggie and the famed "Parmageddon" (pierrogies, sauerkraut between slices of bread). There is no equal.
My stomach is growling! All these variations sound amazing. I personally love cutting two thin slices of sourdough, butter only one side, and arrange creamy brie on it. It's amazingly gooey and wonderfully crispy all at the same time. Mmmmmmmmmmm........
The boss should come to Melt Bar & Grilled in Cleveland – Get tatted and get discounted grilled cheese for life! (http://www.meltbarandgrilled.com/)
Best grilled cheese ever: Two slightly buttered pieces of texas toast style bread, 4 slices of bacon, a handfull of halved sauteed asparagus, and asiago cheese. YUM!
I haven't seen my favorite trick of butter and dried Parmesan on the outside of thick sour dough bread (think Marie Calendar's Frisco Burger). Filled with ultra thin red onion and tomato slices and both sharp cheddar and Jack.
Cinnamon Raisin bread, sharp cheddar, and slices of granny smith apples. Sweet and salty and delicious!
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