Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Set a griddle or frying pan over a medium flame to pre-heat.

Build a sandwich with two pieces of bread and a healthy layer of cheese.

Cheddar is the classic choice, but nearly any soft or medium-firm meltable cheese is a good candidate, including American, Swiss, goat cheese, butterkäse and more. Mixing and matching cheeses is tasty — I often combine sharp cheddar and goat cheese.

You may slice, grate, or crumble the cheese, depending on the type of cheese and the implements you have on hand.

Optionally include other ingredients like thinly-sliced tomato, sliced sweet pickles, sliced or mashed avocado, a thin slice of red onion, cooked bacon, or whatever catches your eye.

Some people spread butter on the outside of the sandwich, which is great if you have already-softened butter on hand, but I generally just cut a tablespoon of butter off the end of the stick and drop it onto the griddle, then use a spatula to spread it around a bit as it melts, and place the sandwich on top of the puddle of hot butter.

Grill for about three minutes, using the spatula to lift the sandwich and peek under it to check if is nicely browned.

Flip the sandwich over on to its other side — or if you haven’t pre-buttered the bread, use the spatula to lift it off of the griddle, drop a half-tablespoon of butter and wait a few seconds for it to melt, and flip the sandwich back on to the griddle.

Grill for a few more minutes to brown the other side, then serve promptly while the cheese is still gooey.

Goes well with chips and lemonade for lunch, or with a bowl of soup for a cozy winter evening.

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