How to make the perfect gourmet grilled cheese sandwich! This simple recipe takes an American classic and gives it a gourmet boost, featuring freshly grated Cheddar and Havarti cheese.
There’s not much that says home quite like a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s an easy and kid-approved staple for us American mommas. This grilled cheese is a bit spruced up thanks to thick hearty slices of white bread and freshly grated Cheddar and Havarti cheese.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH
Grilled cheese sandwiches are simple and easy to make. They require few ingredients, yet provide an abundance of comfort. This is part of their allure. However, to make the best grilled cheese sandwich, the ingredients you choose to work with? Well, they matter. So let’s start with what matters most — the cheese.
BEST CHEESES FOR A GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH
The grilled cheese sandwich most of us grew up with was made with American cheese. And, don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against good ol’ fashioned American cheese. But, if you want to make the world’s best grilled cheese sandwich, you’re going to need to pull out the grater. Cause like I said before, ingredients matter, and nothing beats freshly grated cheese.
One of the best qualities a grilled cheese can possess is a melty, ooey-gooey, stretchy interior. To obtain this, you’ll need a cheese on the creamy side. For this recipe, we’ll use Havarti cheese, which is mild, creamy, and melts down to absolute perfection, however, there are plenty of other cheeses you could use if you wish: Butterkase, Colby Jack, Muenster, and even Gouda are all wonderful melting cheeses for a grilled cheese sandwich.
Most melting cheeses are fairly mild, so to add a boost of flavor, Sharp Cheddar is added to the mix.
So now that the interior of the sandwich has reached it’s fullest potential, let’s move on the exterior, shall we?
TRY USING FRESH BAKERY BREAD
If you’ve ever had a sandwich on freshly baked bread, you know good-and-well the difference it makes. Rather than using pre-packed sandwich bread, try stopping off at your grocery store’s bakery section and grabbing a loaf of freshly baked bread. Or if you’ve been looking for an excuse to check out that new bakery in town, here’s some motivation.
You’ll want to pick up a standard-sized loaf of home-style white bread, but no baguettes — this is not the time for chewy bread. If you prefer wheat or whole grain bread to white, feel free to make make the substitution. You just want the bread to have a pillowy-soft interior.
USE BUTTER, GUYS. NOT MAYONNAISE.
In order to get that perfect, crunchy crust on the outside of the grilled cheese, you’ll need to spread a thin layer of butter on the outside of the bread before cooking. I’m sure you’ve heard of the old mayonnaise trick. I’ve used this method; and y’all, as much as I love mayonnaise I just cannot get on board.
The motivation behind the mayonnaise-grilled cheese method is that (1) mayonnaise is always easy and ready to spread, and (2) it has a higher smoke point (meaning it does not burn as easily as butter) providing the perfect golden crust. However, when I tried this, I could taste the tang of the mayonnaise on my grilled cheese, and it was unpleasant to say the least. Plus, you can get a perfect crust using butter…you just have to cook it at the right temperature.
COOK OVER LOW HEAT
Don’t be tempted to crank up the heat and rush these cheesy temptresses out of the skillet. Butter has a low smoke point, and in order to properly melt the cheese filling and achieve a perfectly golden crust, moderately low heat, and patience, is key.
Only a few minor changes in the form of ingredient upgrades, and we’ve taken the humble grilled cheese sandwich and made it gourmet. Please, enjoy.
How to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich! This simple recipe takes an American classic and gives it a gourmet boost, featuring freshly grated Cheddar and Havarti cheese.
- 1 Loaf Freshly Baked Homestyle White Bread purchased or homemade
- 1 1/2 cup freshly grated Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated Havarti cheese
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- Using a serrated knife, slice the bread into 1/2” slices. You will need 8 slices total. Set aside until ready to use.
- Mix together Cheddar and Havarti in a small mixing bowl. Set aside until ready to use.
- Place a medium-sized skillet over medium-low heat and allow to come to temperature. On a large cutting board or work surface, spread 1 tsp of butter evenly across the surface of a slice of bread.
Turn over and scatter with about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture across the unbuttered side. Spread 1 teaspoon of butter evenly across another slice of bread and place the unbuttered side atop of the cheese mixture. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. You should have 4 sandwiches total.
- Place the sandwiches on the skillet, two at time, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for 3 minutes or until toasted and golden brown.
Turn with a wide spatula and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove from the pan, cut across the diagonal, serve and enjoy.