We had grilled cheese sandwiches tonight. Mine was awesome – to me! Himself had one 1/2 that were – different from mine. I’ll leave discussion of his to him at some future time on HIS blog! (If you haven’t already, it might be good to bookmark his site!)
The original grilled cheese that I had back when was really traditional – cooked on a steel grill with a heavy weighted press on top at the Foremost Dairy Cafe on Piedmont Avenue in about 1950 or 51. Oh Yumm! I’d never had anything like it: two slices of processed American Cheese on white bread, buttered on the outside, slapped onto the grill at a moderately low temp, and cooked until lightly browned on the bottom. Then it was flipped over and the weighted press was put on top, and the sandwich cooked until the bottom was lightly browned.
At that point it was scooped up and slid onto the plate. Dill pickle chips and potato chips rounded out the meal. Yes! Yumm!
Over the years, I tried and failed many times to imitate/emulate that sandwich. But I got better at it over the years. Finally, I read a blog or an article (can’t remember which – should have bookmarked that link) in which the author said the secret of a perfect grilled cheese sandwich is to cook it sl0000wly over low heat. This would let the cheese melt before the bread burned.
I it tried that, and the results were brilliant! So after that, that is the way I made my grilled cheese sandwiches. Until I moved back to my hometown. Then I started buttering the inside of one piece of bread and sprinkling herbs and spices and mixed blends onto it. That added interesting flavors, but didn’t detract from the basic taste of the classic grilled cheese sandwich.
Adding other ingredients (meat, bacon, peppers, onions, etc) detract from the cheese. So guess I’m a purist.
Tonight, however, I reached my state of nirvana:
The Perfect, Traditional Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Two pieces of white bread
Two slices of sharp processed American Cheese
slightly softened butter
Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
Lawry’s Lemon Pepper
Cayenne red pepper
Butter a piece of bread. Sprinkle the seasonings over to taste. Lay the cheese upon it. Put the other piece of bread on top. Flip the sandwich over. Butter the outside of the sprinkled bread.
Place a skillet or griddle over a low heat. Butter the bottom of the pan lightly. When it is warm, lay the sandwich, butter side down, on the skillet. Butter the top of the sandwich. Using a large spatula, move the sandwich around a bit. Allow it to brown to taste. Flip the sandwich over, and press it down with the spatula or a bacon weight. Check the bottom frequently to prevent burning. When browned to taste, remove from skillet/grill. Slice corner to corner to make triangles.
Put on a plate, add potato chips and slices of pickle-of-your-choice.
This is, to me, the perfect grilled cheese sandwich!