Grilled cheese isn’t just for kids anymore. The simple sandwich that your mother made for you with two slices of white bread and a slice or two of plastic wrapped cheese has gone gourmet. You can find the gourmet variety on trucks, in restaurants and it’s about time that it came to your kitchen. The good news is that to create a grilled cheese sandwich that can be considered gourmet you don’t really need any special equipment. All you need is a pan, skillet or grill to cook your sandwich and a spatula to flip your sandwich and you are ready to go.
To create a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich you can’t just use sliced sandwich bread. You need to use bread that is up to the taste and the task. While you may be able to find some artisan breads at your local grocery store, ideally you really want to get your bread from a bakery. One advantage of buying it at the bakery is that they should be able to slice it for you. When it comes to artisan breads slicing can be challenging if you are going to be doing it freehand at home.
Not all bakeries offer the same breads, you want to find one that appeals to you and also can hold up well to grilling. Opting for grainy bread is a good choice, as is sourdough which adds a whole other taste to the equation. You can also choose rye or pumpernickel as well as a crusty French or Italian loaf. Choose something that goes well with the cheese that you plan to use.
When it comes to making a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich, the cheese choice is very important. If you are a die hard American cheese lover then you will need to come up with a little something extra to add to the sandwich to take it up to the gourmet level. It can be as simple as sliced tomato or grilled onions or as complex as you desire.
If you are ready to try something different, Swiss cheese, Gruyere, Gouda, Munster, pepper jack, Cheddar or Gorgonzola are all options to explore. If you want to try something a little Italian, use Italian bread with mozzarella, fresh basil and slices of tomato and olive oil and you have a Caprese grilled cheese.
To take the sandwich to the gourmet level you can also add in extras such as bacon, tapenade, herbs and spices, grilled veggies, sliced gourmet meats and just about anything that appeals to you.
One tip for grilling a perfect sandwich is, instead of melting butter on the pan or grill use mayonnaise on the bread. It spreads on easily and gives the sandwich a beautiful and perfect brown crust.
Creating a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich is lots of fun and it keeps your sandwiches from getting boring. It is also a great way to feed a crowd. Make up a bunch of different gourmet grilled cheese and cut the sandwiches into four pieces and serve to your guests on a platter. They get to try a variety of sandwiches and you get to enjoy seeing their reaction to your gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.