Introduction: The Penultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Not your Mom's grilled cheese...unless you happen to be one of the kids....Here's an instructional video that shows how to take your grilled cheese sandwiches to the next level.
The process is very easy and straightforward, if you're using a sandwich press such as the George Foreman Grill or our Cuisinart you'll want to use a denser bread than your household white bread. We used pre-sliced sourdough which held up quite well. The problem I found with many specialty breads was the size of the loaf which made for small sandwiches.
One issue to avoid is cutting slices from a loaf that are just too thick to be useful, use a standard size slice or just slightly thicker. If the bread is too thick there is a risk that the bread will burn by the time the cheese melts. I found that standard white bread didn't hold up in the press very well which was a disappointment but that shelf in the grocery store had dozens of other choices to experiment with.
Either the grill or griddle ( smooth ) grill plates can be used. I think the grill marks add to the presentation.
So you're going to need some bread and, well, cheese. We used a block sharp Cheddar which we cut into smaller chunks and grated. Some folks try to slice the cheese and end up with thick slabs that don't melt evenly. Using grated ( or pre-packaged shredded cheese ) insures a smooth even layer of cheese which will melt smoothly. I've also seen some sites that suggest a cream cheese spread could be used but I have not explored that.
Also you'll need...an apple...that's right. We're going to put apple slices on the cheese before cooking. The apple's sweetness and crispness offset the creamy sharpness of the cheddar that kicks this humdrum sandwich into a whole new arena.
You can use either olive oil or melted butter on the bread. You will note in the video that we brush the oil ( or butter ) onto the bread and not onto the nonstick surface of the grill. Coating the bread lightly with oil insures an even toasting and appetizing color that covers the face of the sandwich.
Once one side of the bread has been oiled turn it over. Cover one of the slices with a thick layer of shredded cheese. Take the apple and cut a number of reasonably thin slices from the side, it is not necessary to core or peel the apple as you can see from the video. Wait to slice the apple until just before you use it, this will keep the apple slices from oxidizing ( turning brown ). Place a few slices of apple on top of the cheese and cover with the other piece of bread to make a sandwich.
Using a spatula place the sandwich carefully on the grill and close the cover gently. Our Cuisinart has a floating top which is adjusted manually as the lid is lowered. On our grill two sandwiches can be cooked at the same time. Cook the sandwich for 3-5 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese has melted. Using the spatula again remove the sandwich from the grill and dinner is served.
Garnish with mint and serve with chips or a side salad but don't forget the dill pickles, I like the kosher dill spears but dill pickle chips also work.