It has taken me a long time to finally understand how to do grilled cheese right. Not that it’s been torture though. I mean, my excuse for eating grilled cheese is mostly in the pursuit of perfection. For science.
And I’ve finally done it. After years and years of trying to figure it out, I have it. The ultimate grilled cheese.
What’s the secret? I think three things make the difference here. First, melting the cheese on the bread BEFORE finishing them off in the pan with butter to brown. Then, shredding your own cheese off the block. And finally, seasoning the finished sammies with a little salt and pepper (or other dried herb of your choice).
This is what you’re going to need for each sandwich:
- 2 slices of sourdough bread (I used the rosemary sourdough from the Old Town Baking Company). You want your slices to be about a half an inch thick.
- 2 oz. white cheddar (or other melty cheese like fontina or gruyere) in block form (here’s why).
- 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper
In terms of equipment…
- An oven with the broil feature
- an oven sheet pan large enough to hold your sliced bread
- parchment paper
- a square griddle pan (any other skillet will work, too. You’ll just need to make your sandwiches one at a time in a skillet)
- spatula to flip
- a box grater (use the coarse surface, which has bigger holes)
- a cutting board
- a chef’s knife
How to do it:
It’s pretty simple, really. Total time between preheating the broiler in the oven and chowing down is about 20 minutes. And how do you measure out the cheese? Easy, buy a block and look for the weight on the packaging. Here goes:
- Set your oven rack in the center and then set your oven to broil on high or to 500F.
- Shred the cheese.
- Line your baking pan with parchment paper.
- Place your sliced bread on the pan and top each slice with 1 ounce of the shredded cheese, like so:
5. Put the sheet pan in the oven. Then set your griddle pan on the stove to medium-low heat. Now go back to the oven.
6. Watch the cheese to make sure it doesn’t burn. You want the cheese to melt and look shiny, but you don’t want it to brown. You want it to look like this:
6. Take the sheet pan out of the oven. Sandwich those summbitches together.
7. Take a tablespoon of butter per sandwich and melt it on the preheated griddle pan.
8. Take your sandwich(es) and put them down on one side in the buttered griddle pan.
9. Cook in the buttered griddle pan until it’s golden brown, like this:
10. Take the sandwich(es) off the pan and melt another tablespoon of butter per sandwich on the griddle pan. Repeat and brown the other side of the sandwich(es).
11.When both sides look gorgeously browned, take them off the heat and season each side with a little salt and pepper. Then cut across the diagonal and serve.