Introduction: Extreme Cheese Ring Grilled Cheese
It happens all the time. You're grilling up one of your favourite snacks: grilled cheese! And a bit of cheese spills over the edge of the slowly browning bread, onto the grill surface. It sizzles and bubbles as the proteins coalesce into a rigid structure. You slide that ooey gooey sandwich onto a plate, and the crispy fried cheese comes along for the ride.
And as you pop that little bit of fried cheese in your mouth you think to yourself, "Wow, that's one of my favourite parts!"
You bite into your grilled cheese sandwich and your mind wanders... "I sure would like more of that crispy cheese"
And then you are stricken with a delightful thought: "I could do it on purpose. There's nothing stopping me. I could coat every square centimetre of empty pan in cheese!"
And so the next time you make grilled cheese, you try it. And it is transcendent.
- A 9" non-stick frying pan
- Spray-on cooking oil
- Quality bread
- Softenebutter or margarine
- 1-1.5 cups cheddar cheese (or some other relatively young cheese)
Step 1: Prep the Pan and Bread
Pop that frying pan on your stove and set it to medium heat.
While the pan is heating, spread butter or margarine on the one side of each slice of bread. Be sure to go right to the edges!
If I'm making more than one sandwich, I like to grate the cheese in bulk in advance.
Now, check the pan by flicking some water onto it. If the water pops and quickly sizzles away, then the frying pan is hot and ready to go!
Step 2: Add Bread and Cheese
Spray the entire surface of the frying pan with cooking spray. While the non-stick surface of the pan definitely helps, adding a layer of spray helps release the cheese ring as one cohesive piece with a minimum of fuss.
Place the first slice of bread, buttered-side down, in the pan.
Now the fun part: cover all of it in cheese! The bread, the pan, EVERYTHING. Think you've added enough? YOU HAVEN'T. Put more on. There should be a nice thick layer on the bread that transitions seamlessly to the frying pan surface. You've always wanted to do this. So do it right.
Pop that second slice of bread on top, buttered side up.
Step 3: The Flip
Are you watching? Are you watching the magic happen? All that cheese is bubbling away, forming a single mass of dairy-infused goodness. And your mouth waters at the sight and smell of it.
(Side note: if your cheese is especially fatty, once the cheese is fairly solid, you may want to tip the pan and pour off a bit of the grease into a bowl. I drained off a teaspoon or so.)
As the cheese begins to transition from a liquid to more of a solid, begin testing the edges with a spatula. Eventually, it will be possible to lift an edge and it will just sort of hang there for a moment. This is the point at which your glorious cheesy masterpiece should be flipped over. Run the spatula all around the cheese ring, freeing it from the pan. Then scoop up the sandwich and flip it upside-down into the pan.
The cheese ring will sag ever so slightly as the bread browns on the other side. Check it once in a while to see if it is finished.
Step 4: EAT
Are you proud of yourself? You should be! You've earned this. It is yours. Flip that cheesy monster onto a plate cheese-ring-side down, being careful not to break the ring. Grab a napkin or two because you're not escaping this without greasy fingers.
Feel free to add additional ingredients to the grilled cheese! I love dipping my grilled cheese sandwich in ketchup. If I want more protein, I'll add a fried egg or two to the sandwich itself. You may want to serve it with something acidic (like orange juice or some grapes) to help cut the decadent fattiness of all that cheese.
Participated in the
Sandwich Challenge 2020