I know what you're thinking. "Is she really going to tell us how to make grilled cheese? Really?" Yes, really! I only recently discovered the secret to perfectly toasty, melty grilled cheese sandwiches. You may already know the secret, but I'm telling you, I was at a grave disadvantage for years. I'd never had a real grilled cheese sandwich until I was a teenager. My father's version of what he called "cheese on toast" was a piece of wheat bread, toasted [and usually burned] and then a hunk of cheddar thrown on top dry and then microwaved. I loathed this, so I couldn't imagine why anyone would actually choose to eat grilled cheese. My father is English and will literally eat anything that could possibly be classified as food, and thus could not understand what my problem was. For example, my parents were married 20 years before she found out he didn't actually like her tuna curry (which I love, BTW.) So, this post is for all you similarly disadvantaged people.
Fast forward to today. After a lot of experimentation, I have a good formula. I'm saying this with all seriousness, because I have made plenty of grilled cheese sandwiches that have been burned on the outside and not melted at all on the inside. It's really almost as sad as the "cheese on toast" of my childhood.
First, I like to shred my cheese. I wouldn't say it's absolutely necessary, but it does make for a more uniform melt, in my opinion. Here I have pre-shredded Mexican blend cheese, but you can use any cheese you want (I really like pepper jack!)
Next, choose your bread. White, wheat, sourdough, croissant. It's all good in my book. I have the very last bit of a white loaf, and thus the heel - don't hate! Top the slices with as much cheese as you like.
Top the cheese with the other slice of bread, and put it in (drum roll please...) The Microwave! Just for 20-30 seconds. Trust me, this is how you make fool-proof grilled cheese, every time. It's not only really tasty, but it's fast.
Okay, is it strange that I only just noticed the Turntable button on my micro by looking at this picture? Weird.
30 seconds later...Voila! Melty cheese! It's not totally melted, but it's well on its way.
While you were waiting, you heated up your skillet, right? I'm using my brand new vintage Descoware enameled cast iron skillet. Usually I make it in a heavy non-stick, but as you can tell, this worked perfectly. Melt a pat of butter over medium heat.
Quickly swipe one side of the sandwich bread in the butter and then turn it over on the other side to start toasting in the rest of the butter (otherwise just make sure to butter the other piece.) You'll probably only need to toast it for 2-3 minutes tops (and no need to smash it down.) Flip it and toast the other side, same amount of time.
Doesn't that look good? The cheese is perfectly melty on the inside, and toasted golden brown on the outside with a great crunchy, crispy bite.
It's much easier to cookie-cut a very crispy grilled cheese sandwich than a mushy one. The one above turned into this adorable maple leaf.
If you want to fancy it up, you can add some ham, chicken or turkey and a swipe of Dijon mustard before heating...yum!