The BEST Grilled Cheese

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grilled cheese(1)
The holidays are over, and I am going to do some serious dieting. I have been a dutiful snacker, and kept up with my daily quota of cookie/candy/cake consumption. I have also cooked up a storm, and am now taking a well deserved break. (At least I think I deserve it.)

That means the rest of the house must fend for themselves. It is always entertaining to see how they fare. I especially love to watch them try to make grilled cheese. I try not to interfere, but sometimes it’s preferable to calling the fire department.

In France, grilled cheese sandwiches can be found on every street corner. There, they contain gruyere cheese, a wee bit of ham, and sometimes a little béchamel sauce. They’re called Croque Monsieur, which means, literally, Mister Crunchy. (Leave it to the French.) A Croque Madam is the same sandwich, with a fried egg added into the mix. Makes it sound a little dirty, don’t you think?

The key to the grilled cheese is to cook it slowly. Very slowly. If you don’t the bread will burn, and the cheese inside will not melt. This is nearly impossible to achieve when the cook is hungry. My suggestion is to have a little pre-lunch snack while you wait. (This could be part of the reason I will be dieting in January.)

The other tip I offer for superior grilled cheese is this: butter the bread, not the pan. Less of the butter will burn, and more of it will soak into the bread, crisping it up. There you have it. Good luck, grasshopper.

INGREDIENTS

2 slices sandwich bread of your choice
4 TB. butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup grated Cheddar Cheese (or the cheese of your choice, but if you use American cheese don’t tell me about it)

METHOD

  1. Butter each slice of bread. Lay one slice in a non-stick skillet, buttered side down. Put the cheese on top, cover it with the second slice of buttered bread, buttered side up.
  2. Cover the pan with foil and cook over medium-low heat, until the bottom is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Carefully flip them over, and brown the other side. Check to be sure the cheese inside has melted. If necessary, reduce heat and continue to cook until the center is melty. Cut the sandwich on the diagonal and serve.
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