Comfort food is essential when the winds howl between houses, sleet taps on window panes, snowflakes blanket the ground. Comfort food requires something warm, something oozing with yum, something with a delicious crunch. Grilled cheese checks off all the boxes reqired. For the past few years, I have been perfecting my grilled cheese sandwich, because winter requires a lot of comfort.
It used to consist of two pieces of whatever bread is on hand, whatever cheese is in the fridge grilled with margarine spread on the outside of the bread. Once it is toasted to a golden hue, it is cut and eaten as fast as possible before all the cheese oozes out. But this practice has been banished from my kitchen.
Now I prefer sourdough bread as the basis for my sandwich, but other flavorful breads will work too. Butter, not margarine, is spread from crust to crust, every bit of the surface coated. Then I consider my cheese choices. Rarely will you find me making a single cheese sandwich these days. I love to blend two cheeses. Today’s choice has colby-jack and pepper jack cheese.
A layer of each before placing the bread on top. Sometimes I may sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese on the butter for a crispy bite of cheesy flavor. Of course then I might need to add a touch more butter to seal the cheese onto the bread.
Grilling cheese is not quick. The burner must be low so the cheese inside has a chance to melt and the butter seeps into the bread creating a crispy exterior. You may peek to check on the grilling process, but try not to disturb the sandwich too much. When the bread is toasted to your satisfaction, flip the sandwich.
There should be a sizzling sound as the fresh butter meets the hot pan. Now would be a good time to turn the heat down just a bit more as the second layer of cheese begins the melting process.
Once both sides are toasted to your satisfaction, move the sandwich to your plate, but don’t cut it. Just as meat needs to rest, so does the cheese. These few minutes are unbearable as you gaze on the toasted bread hiding the melted cheese, but wait. When the cheese has had a few minutes to firm up, cut the sandwich. Have a napkin handy to wipe your fingers of the buttery goodness. Or just lick your fingers. It’s all good!