September 21, 2009

Grilled Cheese

All right, ya'll. I love cheese. I do. I have, so far in my life, not yet met a cheese that I don't like. There have been cheeses that I thought I didn't like, but then I had more quality versions of those cheeses and was proven very, very wrong. I like cheese from sheep, goats, and cows. I like cheese that's hard and stinky, and cheese that's soft and mild. I like cheese that's yellow and cheese that's white and cheese that's really crazy colors. I like it cold, room temperature, and napalm. I just really, really like cheese. Which is pretty much the only reason I've got a grilled cheese post. I mean, it's grilled cheese. You take some bread, some butter, and some cheese and you make into something delicious.

I like to also add mustard and pepper, but I like a little bit of spice to my cheesy deliciousness. For this, I used:

Potato bread
Cheddar cheese (as usual, the sharper the better)
Asiago cheese
Grey Poupon (I'm so fancy!)

So, get your cheese sliced. If you have pre-sliced cheese, you can ignore this step (obviously) but you're also a wuss. Kidding, kidding! I find that getting block cheese is more economical and so I tend to grate/slice my own. I have this really crummy box grater that's been with me for way beyond its natural life span that I use for all my cheese-destroying needs. Here's some cheese porn for you:

This is about enough for two sandwiches. Now, get your bread and butter it! Margarine is fine. Sometimes, when I don't feel like softening the butter, I just put the butter in the pan to melt and put the dry bread on top of it. As long as you get something buttery onto the bread and simultaneously into the pan, you're good.

Now, flip that bread over onto a plate (careful about the butter!) and get some mustard onto it. For grilled cheese, I like something a little spicier, like Grey Poupon, but any whole grain mustard would be really nice. Cheap Yellow mustard isn't quite right for this kind of sandwich. Unless you have provolone, in which case all bets are off.

Get your bread into your pan, on medium heat. I like a nonstick pan for this. The bread doesn't brown as darkly/quickly and you can get away with considerably less butter than you can with stainless steel. Cast iron would also be perfectly fine. I like to use more than one cheese for my grilled cheese sandwiches. This time, I had some cheddar and a tub of pre-grated Asiago, so I used those, but any cheese will do. Seriously, I've made these with spreadable goat cheese and it's delicious. Don't fear the cheese. The cheese should fear you. 

So slap a very thin layer of Asiago onto the mustard-covered bread! Don't lay it on too thick--you want it to melt with the cheddar, not next to it. We want our cheeses to fall in love and get married and have happy, cheesy, cholesterol-laden babies. Not greasy cheese divorce.

Then, add the cheddar in a thicker layer. Keep it nice and even. There's nothing worse than a fatty hunk of unmelted cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich.

Add another thin layer of Asiago and some pepper.

Stick the other piece of bread on and let it cook.

I can't tell you minute amounts or even correct burner temperature. I'm a very, very fiddly cook. I relentlessly mess with stuff until it's done, so I'm always fiddling with the heat, turning things over again and again, taking a peek at cheese meltyness. Just, you know, cook it till the first side is done and then flip it. I like it when it looks like this:

But you might like it a little paler.That's perfectly fine, just cook it over slightly lower heat and pay more attention to it. Make the other side look like the first side and make sure that cheese it totally melted! As much as I love cheese, overloading a grilled cheese sandwich can make cooking much longer and more complicated than it really needs to be, so don't overdo the cheese. Unless you really like babysitting your hot sandwiches, in which case, lay it on thick as can be!

And, of course, the last step: Profit!

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