The Art of the Grilled Cheese

Earlier this week D.C. restaurant Ripple premiered their “Grilled Cheese Bar.” This absolutely, amazingly, fabulously (I could go on) concept essentially lets dinners craft their own gourmet grilled cheese by choosing from 14 artisanal cheeses, house-made spreads, and a variety of veggie and meat fillings. It also includes 7 house creations, including a $12 sandwich with a rare Swiss cheese called challerhocker.

This sandwich does not include a rare Swiss cheese, but it was still delicious.

Doesn’t this sound like heaven? I can’t be the only person out there who would eat a grilled cheese sandwiche everyday if someone told me they could provide all of my nutritional needs and not affect the size of my hips. That lovely crunch followed by smooth, rich melted cheese is an art in its own right. But what should you do if you are craving a little art appreciation in your life, and can’t make it to D.C. any time soon? Continue reading, because I have some tips for taking your ho-hum Wonderbread and Kraft singles sandwich to the next level.

  • Always use butter, never margarine. Also butter the inside and the outside of each slice of bread.
  • Use two different cheeses. My standby is cheddar and Monterrey jack, but I’m also a fan of smokey Gouda and Havarti. For this sandwich I chose Kerrygold’s Dubliner and Gruyere.

  • Pick one simple ingredient to add to the sandwich, like thinly sliced apples, caramelized onions, or ripe tomatoes.

  • Add a little salt and pepper to the outside of your sandwich just before you place it in the pan.

  • Be patient. Keep the stove on medium-low and watch that grilled cheese carefully. I like to put my sandwich in a warm pan (placed over the heat for about 15-30 seconds before adding the sandwich), cover it with a lid and let it heat up for about 5-7 minutes. Then carefully flip it and let the second side cook uncovered. Voila

4 responses to “The Art of the Grilled Cheese

  1. When I worked at Einstein Bros Bagels, we made this heavenly grilled cheese with herbed cream cheese, four types of sliced cheese, and thin-sliced oven dried tomatoes. It was heaven Karen, mmmmmmm.

    Yep I can eat grilled cheese all day long.

  2. I love a slice of tomato added to a grilled cheese. Salt and peppering the bread is a new technique for me to try.

  3. I always absolutely hated the standard process cheese variety but have recently enjoyed some grilled cheese sandwiches with Swiss… that variety with the caramelized onion looks great and the apple suggestion is intriguing…

  4. Yummy. Think I have just decided what I will be having for lunch…

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