The boys really enjoy grilled cheese sandwiches–it’s one of my favorite snacks too. Over the years I’ve travelled the country and tasted the different styles of grilled cheese. I’ve been to restaurants where the menu lists grilled cheese. I usually leave the critiquing to the boys whose palettes are more advanced than the normal 7 and 8 year old. There are only a few ways you can make grilled cheese sandwiches. Really, how hard can it be? The main concept is taking a slice of bread, put cheese on it, put another slice of bread on top, and heat.
Each household has their process. I’ve listed some:
- Butter one side of the bread slices and grill in a pan (one side of butter will be enough to crisp the bread on both sides).
- Butter both bread slices and grill in a pan (you need both sides buttered to get a good crisp).
- Butter both sides of the two bread slices and grill in a pan (butter is good).
- Spray the pan with cooking spray and grill the sandwich (for those who live and die by the spray)
- Make the sandwich and put it in the toaster oven and toast (no need for any more fat in my diet).
- Toast the bread, while hot, place the cheese in the middle (obviously, doesn’t have a pan in the kitchen).
I’ve tested each of these in my kitchen, and I even tried substituting butter with olive oil. While some of these ideas are quick, taste good, and are technically a grilled cheese sandwich, they don’t have the crisp crunch when you bite into the bread.
Here’s my recipe:
2 slices of bread
1 slice of cheese
1.5 teaspoons of mayonnaise
- Heat your pan on medium heat.
- Lay the bread and spread mayonnaise on each of them.
- Place the bread in the pan; mayonnaise side down.
- Place the cheese on top of the bread.
- Place the other slice of bread on the cheese, mayonnaise side up.
- Wait until the bottom half browns (about 2-3 minutes).
- Wait until the bottom half browns (about 1-2 minutes).
Yes, I said mayonnaise. Here’s the logic. Mayonnaise is made up of eggs and oil. When you spread the mayonnaise on the bread and grill it, the eggs come out and cook while the oil is used to help it crisp. Just think of fried eggs and the crispy edges you like to eat—it’s the same concept. Also, have you ever tried using butter to make grilled cheese sandwiches, and the butter tore into the bread? Mayonnaise is easy to dispense and spreads on easily. When using this technique, you’ll always get a crispy outer crust and soft melted cheese in the middle.
I’ve ventured out of the grilled cheese world and use the same techniques to make grilled ham & cheese; grilled tomato & cheese; grilled ham, tomato, and cheese; grilled ham, tomato, avocado, and cheese; and grilled cheese with fried egg in the middle.
Disclaimer: Someone told me that my style is the same way they do it in the upper Midwest. Make a thin layer of mayonnaise on each slice of bread.