Grilled Cheese = Comfort

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.Β 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.

First layer is colby-jack

First layer is colby-jack

Today's second layer will be pepper jack

Today’s second layer will be pepper jack

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.

A sprinkling of parmesan gives an extra crunch to the bread

A sprinkling of parmesan gives an extra crunch to 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.

Side one is finished

Side one is finished

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.

See how the parmesan browns on side two

See how the parmesan browns on side two

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!




41 thoughts on “Grilled Cheese = Comfort

  1. mrssurridge says:

    Parmesan sprinkled on the butter…O.M.G! This is certainly going to happen in my kitchen. Excellent post–as perfectly presented and The Pioneer Woman. YUM!

  2. HOLY CHEDDAR AND SWISS BATMAN. This post is unreal, Elsie! Cheese – sorry – cheeses, plural, butter, bread, hot pan, tantalizing pics, step by step instructions – what is not to LOVE. I’m going to try this method – I’ve been dying to perfect the art of a fabulous grilled cheese sandwich. Or – I COULD just join Ruth (and others) at your house!

  3. Well, this made my mouth water! And very good advice with the patient waiting after the grilled cheese has been finished– I never have the patience, but judging from your pictures it looks like a little patience would do me good!

  4. “something oozing with yum” — love it! That’s quite the fancy grilled cheese, & it was fun to read how your taste & eating habits have progressed. You’ve made it into an art, and written it that way beautifully too, elsie! πŸ™‚

  5. Um, yes — absolutely hungry. I read this on a quick break at school this noon and was completely jealous of this delightful looking cheese toastie. Your detail was vivid and spot-on. By the end I felt like I could make this and that I had to have one. πŸ™‚ I agree with Ruth — lunch at your house.

  6. Okay….now I have to try this….with the sour dough bread. It will have to wait until next week though since I just made quiche for the weekend. My mouth is watering already.

  7. If I hadn’t just finished eating a piece of pizza, I’d be headed for the kitchen to make some grilled cheese! You’re right, it is the ultimate comfort food. Although…in a mac and cheese versus grilled cheese contest, I’m not sure who’d win. What a yummy slice!

  8. I wonder how many people will be making grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner? I think it’s pretty safe to say I will be! Your description was so vivid (and the pictures quite amazing!) that you had my mouth watering from beginning to end. πŸ™‚ I hope you enjoyed every last bite of deliciousness!

  9. If I were into food, but as you already know I am not, I would be at the stove right now. These really look delicious. I admit that I have always just used white American. I will have to try other varieties. It would definitely be hard waiting to cut these and take that first bite.

  10. Tam says:

    Oh, my! Do you work for a food channel, also, in your spare time?? Pictures are outstanding. Love this post–yummy, comfort food for frigid days. I love the pan you used to grill your sandwiches–an old, comfy, and treasured one.

  11. Elsie, I hear your voice coming through. Delicious post! With your permission, I would like to share this with kids at school. You have taken a rather simple “how-to” and created a spectacular voiced essay. Someday, I would love to share a grilled cheese with you. A panini with roast beef, swiss and mushrooms is my favorite grilled gourmet.

  12. What a great picture story! I make one of these most days in the winter for my lunch. Today two of my grandkids will be here and I will be in more of a hurry to grab that toasted cheese. I can’t wait to try some of your ideas on Monday, when I again eat alone! What a nice Slice!

  13. I love the “How To”ness of this piece. A great mentor text for sure if this is a unit of study you teach. Otherwise, just a great -how to. Looks like grilled cheese is on the menu for lunch!

  14. Lynn says:

    OMG Elsie such details such awesome pics! I love grilled cheese but never seem to mark one. . . I know that is going to change very quickly!

  15. Well, now I AM hungry. This sure is some grilled cheese on steroids! It looks absolutely delicious and even without the helpful accompanying photos, my mouth would still be watering based on your writing alone.

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