Although I typically stray from the average when I'm creating recipes for Grilled Cheese Social, I think that the basic grilled cheese that we all grew up loving is just as good as any fancy sammy I come up with. This recipe will provide the back to basics approach and explain why I do what I do when I'm creating these childhood favorites.
So of course, I couldn't just do the regular standard grilled cheese but believe me it's still as simple and delicious as you remember!
-2 slices of muenster cheese
-2 slices of sourdough bread
-a pinch of garlic salt
-enough butter to cover the bread
So after I gathered all my ingredients I tore the cheese in half to fit the slices of bread. If you don't do this you will find that the cheese oozes out everywhere and will start to burn (and that ain't good!). I like to center my cheese more in the middle to allow it some room to melt without seeping onto the pan.
Then I simply put the other piece of bread on top, smeared some yummy REAL butter all over it, and then added a little bit of garlic salt to the buttered sides. I chose butter on this classic because it's the typical fat we think to use when making grilled cheese. Butter provides a rich, creamy, and crispy texture that also functions as a great medium to slowly brown your bread. You might have noticed that I use sometimes use olive oil instead of real butter. I don't really have a rule on this method, but I tend to associate olive oil with more rustic type sandwiches. Olive oil is also easier to use because unlike butter, you don't have to wait for it to soften and you can just drizzle it on your griddle.
Once the sammy was put together I heated my griddle pan to a medium high heat. I use a double burner griddle pan similar to this one by Anolon (shhh.... I got mine from TJ Max for half the price). It features heavy gauge hard anodized non-stick aluminum, SureGrip handles which are durable and ergonomic and provide a soft, cool confident grip, and is big enough to make about six grilled cheeses at a time. I chose this model because I'm pretty much a broke grad student and I thought it offered the most bang for it's buck!
The heat I chose also varies depending on which type of cheese you use. for soft cheeses like brie, tallegio, or goat cheese I typically use a higher heat because it doesn't take that long for the cheese to melt. For firmer cheeses like gruyere, cheddar, or manchego I use a lower heat to allow it to melt evenly. I also use a lower heat if there are more ingredients, as to warm everything evenly. Also if you're unsure which setting is best to use I would stick to using a medium-low heat because it's the safest bet.
After it was golden brown on one side, I flipped it. At this point I sometimes incorporate a cast iron grill press into the mix. I do this when the sandwich is too big to feel confident about the flipping the sammy. The press flattens the sandwich enough to help the cheese bond to all the ingredients together so it won't fall apart when you flip it with your spatula.
When both sides were equally golden brown I took it off the skillet and let it rest for a minute. I did this so that the cheese would have a minute to firm up and not ooze out from the pressure of the knife. I also thought I owed it to everyone to include the grilled cheese's BFF - soup! I paired my sammy with a delightful sweet potato bisque that i picked up from trader joe's. I also cut this little baby into strips to it would be easy and fun to dunk in the soup!
I hope my spin on this classic will warm your belly and your heart, and make ya feel like a little kid again!