The Perfect Grilled Cheese
Get your cup of tomato soup ready to go—everyone’s favorite sandwich is back, and more haute than ever before.
Sandwiches have been around forever, and for good reason. The Jews have been eating some version of a sandwich for thousands of years; at the Passover holiday they eat horseradish and apple chutney (haroset) between two pieces of matzo (cracker). In the Middle Ages, a piece of bread was used as a sort of edible plate which other foods were eaten off, then the grease-soaked bread was eaten, too. And of course there’s the sandwich’s namesake, the Earl of Sandwich, who enjoyed eating his meat between two pieces of bread because it allowed him to play cards and eat dinner at the same time. But of all the sandwiches, the grilled cheese sandwich—cheese melted between two pieces of toasted bread—might be the unanimous winner of the title World’s Favorite Sammy. For the grilled cheese sandwich can be anything we want it to be: comforting or innovative, mild or sharp, simple or piled high, soft or crisp. And we’ll have them any way they come.
Here are five recipes for the perfect grilled cheese sandwich, with a sprinkling of innovative recipes for good measure.
Classic Grilled Cheese by Nancy Silverton Two ingredients, a million possibilities. This is the original grilled cheese sandwich.
Welsh Rarebit by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner Call it “rarebit” or call it “rabbit,” this simple cheese sauce-on-toast is like a deconstructed grilled cheese sandwich.
Croque Bernardin by Steven Raichlen You know that a croque monsieur is a grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich, and a croque madame is a grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich with a fried egg. So what’s a croque Bernardin? Inspired by Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin in Manhattan, this is a grilled smoked salmon-and-cheese sandwich.
Spinach, Pear, and Walnut Panini with Feta by Tiffany Collins The grilled cheese sandwich goes upscale with sweet Bosc pears, savory feta cheese, and herbaceous sage, laced with a drizzle of tart balsamic vinegar.
Chocolate-Hazelnut and Goat Cheese Melt by Laura Werlin If chocolate-hazelnut cheesecake could be made into a sandwich, this would be it. Rich and creamy, this sandwich will make you want to eat grilled cheese for each of dinner’s courses.
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