Happy Grilled Cheese Day!
To me, no member of the basic food group is more delicious than the grilled cheese. However, making a great grilled cheese requires more than simply slappin' a buttered cheese sandwich on the grill. A perfect grilled cheese sandwich is hot, crispy and crunchy on the outside, and full of chewy cheesy goodness on the inside.
Over the years, I have finally mastered creating the "Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich". Creating this masterpiece involved years of trial and error. I ate many a limp, soggy and/or burnt sandwich until I came up with the perfect formula for this classic dish.
In honor of this day, I would like to present my recipe for you, here. The great thing about this recipe is that it is highly adaptable to individual tastes. You can add or subtract any of the ingredients you wish. The most important thing to follow is the buttering and cooking instructions. These cannot be fiddled with. By following my instructions to the letter, you will soon be enjoying the perfect grilled cheese.
- Bread. (Your choice. I like a sourdough, or thicker bread, but plain ol' Sunbeam is good too.)
- Sliced Cheese (Again, your choice, although I prefer a combination of American AND Sharp Cheddar.)
- Softened Butter (The butter has to be REALLY soft and spreadable. I like to use Land O' Lakes©' Spreadable butter.)
- Softened Cream Cheese
- Meat (This is optional. I like to put ham or bacon on mine. If you do use a meat, chop it up fine, so you're not sliding a huge slice of meat out of the sandwich each time you take a bite!)
- Grated cheese (This makes a BIG difference!)
Put a sturdy pan over medium/high heat, and allow it to preheat for at least five minutes. Meanwhile spread the cream cheese on two slices of bread, the sprinkle with the grated cheese. Assemble the sandwich adding the cheese, and meat, if you're swingin' that way. Then, LIGHTLY butter both sides of the outside of the sandwich. Seriously, you want the THINNEST layer of butter on the outside of the sandwich to facilitate cooking. Too much, and you'll have a soggy mess. Too little and you'll have a hockey puck.
Place the sandwich in the pan and heat for 1.5 minutes on each side. After each side is done to your liking, transfer the sandwich to a serving plate. Wait a minute or two before cutting the sandwich to let the cheese firm up a bit.
Serve with a bowl of tomato soup. If you screwed the recipe up, serve with a lot of liquor, so your guests won't know the difference, and if they do, they won't remember what a crappy grilled cheese you make.
I hope you and yours have a happy, healthy (well happy, anyway) Grilled Cheese Day.
I am off now, to put up the decorations for the White family Grilled Cheese Day Celebration.