ATK recipe #2: The Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I didn’t intend to cook from the America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook again so soon. But I decided to make myself a grilled cheese for lunch and remembered that the book actually includes a recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich.

Grilled Cheese Recipe?

Now I consider myself something of a grilled cheese expert.  It was the first thing I ever cooked on a stove and has always been one of my favorites.  In college I discovered what I consider to be the ultimate in grilled cheese, which is a sandwich on wheat bread with one slice of cheddar and one slice of muenster, with onions and tomatoes in the middle.

But what the hey, I’ll give the expert’s instructions a try.  I used potato bread because that’s what we have this week.  The recipe has three tricks to it: using grated cheese, brushing the bread with melted butter, and cooking over medium-low heat.

I used pre-grated cheddar again because it’s what I have.  I found it difficult to get the sandwich into the pan without spraying grated cheese everywhere.  (Since the recipe instructs to swipe the top with butter and then flip that side down into the pan.  I had to wipe the pan of cheese before it became a burnt mess.  According to the cookbook, using grated cheese insures even coverage of melted cheese over the whole sandwich, but I didn’t find that.  The edges had no cheese because it had all fallen out when I flipped it.  Besides, cheddar isn’t my favorite cheese for grilling.  I prefer muenster or havarti.  Or, if I feel nostalgic, good old Kraft American.

However, the combination of brushing the bread with melted butter and cooking over medium-low heat did produce a really nice crispy, golden brown toast.

Grilled Cheese

So I may end up altering my standard Grilled Cheese making routine. I think cooking it longer at lower heat is probably worth it for consistently golden sandwiches.


One thought on “ATK recipe #2: The Grilled Cheese Sandwich

  1. mistress_pol says:

    That’s similar to how I’ve always made grilled cheese (or toasted cheese, as we call them here) sandwiches. Only without the grated part. And room-temp butter, not melted. When I was a kid, mum always used Kraft Cheddar thickly-cut from a block (I believe it’s known as Velveeta in your neck of the woods). We used to call it “soap cheese”, because it kind of has that texture/look (I don’t think ours is as ‘orange’ as it is over there). It still has a soft-spot in my heart for this use, but I haven’t bought it in many years – these days I use real cheese lol.

    Anyway, an easier way of dealing with the butter issue is to butter your two slices of bread on the bench, put one piece butter-side down on the pan, *then* put your cheese on and the top slice of bread – essentially, make your sandwich in the pan. Flipping that first time can still be a challenge (and again, I’ve never done it with grated cheese, which I imagine would be damn near impossible without making a mess), but if you time it right, the cheese has melted just enough to stick to the bread, but not enough to run everywhere. Cooking on a lower heat gives you that lovely golden outside, and the cheese melts just enough to be all lovely and gooey without running out the sides when you cut it.

    Seriously, who knew there was an art to it?! I’m frankly astounded that it ended up in a recipe book lol.

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