Source: Auntie Paulie (1970’s)
Grilled Cheese is an American classic. This sandwich consists of a slice or two of cheese warmly melted in-between two slices of bread. This innocent tradition has some ugly roots. Typically, the original American version will include two slices of white gooey bread. (usually ‘wonder’ brand bread) With 1-2 slices of processed, Kraft cheese singles. I’m not even sure Kraft cheese singles is actually in the cheese category, or in the junk category. As a result, Kraft got it’s big break during World War 2. It was a documented recipe in the official naval cookbook. Consequently, before we knew it, Naval cooks all over the country were making a ton of grilled cheese sandwiches for our soldiers.
In the early 1900’s, the French invented their classy version, the ‘Croque Monsieurs”. As a result, it’s still a thriving part of the French cuisine. Now, it’s time for us to have our classy version. Let’s call our new version the “Grilled Cheese-Reboot”. After all, if they can do it with the Gilmore Girl’s, and give them a re-boot series, then we’re doing it with the grilled cheese. No more pasty white bread with processed cheese. It’s now going to be about rustic farmer’s bread with grated Gruyere or Tilsitter cheese in the middle.
A new updated process also goes along with our Grilled cheese reboot. As it so happened, my Aunt was out visiting us. She was happy to give me few pointers in recreating our new version. The first change is the bread is brushed with melted butter. Then the cheese is no longer sliced, but rather grated. This ensures a nice melted center with out burning the outside waiting for it to melt.
This version is seemingly quick, and lastingly delicious. I do hope we can get some converts here. Trust me, the kids will not know what they’ve been missing out on. Feed them well, and skip the processed cheese and white bread out of the equations. I guarantee they’ll love it!
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- 10 slices bread rustic, or your favorite sliced bread
- 1 handful gruyère cheese graded, use a nutty flavor cheese, just grate the desired amount per sandwich. Some like more cheese, others less
- 1 TBS butter for both exterior sides of the sandwich, and a bit more for the pan
- Slice your bread to your desired thickness
- Melt the butter, then brush both sides of your sliced bread with the fine, melted butter. (brushing melted butter gives a bit of a crispy texture to the bread)
- Grate your cheese (either all at once, or you can grate per sandwich) and load cheese on 1 open side of bread. Note: grating cheese vs. sliced cheese: I like the grated method better, cheese melts quicker, and the texture is a bit creamier.
- Add a dollop of butter to the hot pan, then put the filled sandwich into the hot pan.
- Add the cheese
- It usually takes 2 1/2 – 3 minutes on each side until it’s golden brown and cheese is melted. If a little more heat is needed, cover the pan with a lid, but watch closely until cheese is melted. Enjoy