It’s American Cheese Month, and what could be more American than the Southern classic, Pimento Cheese, with Bacon and Tomato? Food52.com presents an easy and delicious version from Parker & Otis in Durham, NC:
Cheese, mayonnaise, and pimentos shouldn’t be this good together. Pimento cheese is, at its core, nothing but tufts of unmelted cheese, a cushion of mayonnaise, and chopped pimentos: a glomming-together of unassuming and seemingly unfriendly ingredients. It doesn’t seem like it should exist, but the moment you taste it, you understand.
This trinity is a Southern institution — but from there, everyone has their own way. This one, from Parker and Otis in Durham, North Carolina, is an excellent place to start. It has a low mayo-to-cheese ratio and a big dose of pimento — both of which keep it strong and fierce. There’s also an underdog spice at play: celery salt, which takes a heartbeat of sharp tang and breathes a little herbal depth into it. (But don’t worry, not too much.) Our Assistant Editor and Community Manager Marian Bull brought this to a lot of tailgates, and made a lot of friends.
Best of all, Parker and Otis use it to make a jaw-dropping upgrade to a grilled cheese. It has bacon. And tomato. To mimic the sandwich press used at the shop, we weighted and dry-toasted ours in skillet, and finished warming it through in the oven. But Magness has an even better idea, for next time: “Put a little mayo on the outside so it gets real crispy.”
Check out the full recipe!
(Photo ©2013 Food52.com)
There’s plenty of debate online regarding the perfect way to combine cheese, bread and heat, but scientists at the British Royal Society of Chemistry claim to have discovered the perfect formula for grilled cheese on toast. And yes, it’s an actual formula. Via Cnet.com.au:
Scientists at the British Royal Society of Chemistry have revealed the scientific formula for creating the perfect grilled cheese on toast.
Science has provided us with many wondrous things, but what about dinner? Well, actually, it has gone there, too — but generally, molecular gastronomy tends to consider itself a little above the humble cheese on toast.
Luckily, we have the British Cheese Board and the Royal Society of Chemists. Together, they have performed rigorous testing on grilling conditions and have conceived a scientific formula for creating the absolute perfect cheese on toast.
According to the Society’s science executive Ruth Neale, “We found that the perfect slice can be made by melting 50 grams of sliced hard cheese, such as cheddar, on a slice of white bread, 10 millimetres thick, under the grill. The cheese on toast should sit at a distance of 18 centimetres from the heat source — which in our grill was at a temperature of 115 degrees Celsius — and needs to cook for four minutes to achieve the perfect consistency and taste.”
The team carried out a series of tests, changing one variable at a time: first, the distance of the cheese from the grill; then the amount of time the cheese spent under the grill; and finally, whether sliced, grated or cubed cheese melted best. Then Nigel White, secretary of the British Cheese Board, determined the best type of bread and cheese, and the two performed taste tests.
Of course, their study isn’t conclusive. Favourite cheese is highly subjective, after all, and some people prefer wholegrain bread, or a crusty ciabatta. And the experiments didn’t take into account the thickness of the cheese, which we imagine would be pretty danged important.
Luckily, the experiment wasn’t so much to determine how to make the world’s objectively best cheese on toast, but to demonstrate how scientists design and perform experiments.
We’re still totally going to try it though. It’s for science.
Esquire has had one of the best Grilled Cheese Month features going, and now, as the month ends, they’re looking for your vote for Best Grilled Cheese:
Grilled cheese. Yes, it’s simple, but this month has proven just how complex it can be. We’ve seen "temples of curd," the puritanically standard bacon-and-American grilled cheeses, and heated debates over what exactly constitutes a proper grilled cheese. Does it have to be predominantly cheese? Does it have to be made with sliced bread? Does it have to be made in America? At the end of the day, is it ever worth $12 for something so easy to make at home? In the midst of this glorious, cheesy month, we admittedly did our best to ignore many of those questions, and instead just strove to eat as many as we could, trying not to become too enraptured by the quest while we were at it. Journalistic objectivity be damned, this was a lot of fun, and we’d like to hear from you as well, to help us decide — Who Makes the Most Life-Changing Grilled Cheese?
Vote for your pick in the poll below. We’re well aware that this list will never be complete, so you can continute the conversation in the comments below, on Facebook, or on Twitter at #MostLifeChangingGrilledChz.
contestants include Murrays, Little Muenster, Tartine, and many more.
In their “Eat Like A Man" column, Esquire magazine has come out of left field to present one of the best month-long series in honor of National Grilled Cheese Month. Featuring sandwiches from across America, unusual recipes, interviews with chefs and more, it’s worth checking it out during April to see what Grilled Cheese inventions they’ll be presenting next.
(via Kirstin Jackson on Twitter.)
Sadly, I missed last weekend’s Big Cheesy 2013 (see my post from last year’s event), but SeriousEats has a good slideshow of the competing grilled cheeses. Melt Shop was declared the big winner for the 2nd year in a row, but all the entries look pretty darn tasty to me:
This weekend, Openhouse brought back their grilled cheese cookoff, The Big Cheesy. There were some heavy-cheese-hitters lines up, namely (the returning champion of cheesiness) Melt Shop, Milk Truck, Lucy’s Whey, Murray’s Cheese Bar, Say Cheese, Sons of Essex, and ‘wichcraft.
We scoped out the event to bring you a blow-by-blow roundup of what NYC’s grilled cheese masters had to offer. Click through the slideshow to see!
Ok, I know this looks like some sort of “Exxxtreme Foodz!” concoction (and yes, it comes from a site called Dude Foods), but it actually sounds kinda good, and uses the Finnish “cheese bread” known as Juustoleipa, which is genuinely tasty. Assuming you substituted a quality cheese, maybe a Landaff or a Beecher’s Flagship, for the processed cheese, this could be pretty great. Via Bon Appetite:
until now, one final frontier of grilled cheese had remained: the all-cheese grilled cheese. No bread, no fillings, just cheese. Nick at Dude Foods managed to pull this off thanks to an invention of America’s cheese headquarters, Wisconsin, called “bread cheese.” It’s made of pressed, baked squeaky cheese curds, based on a Finnish cheese called Juustoleipa (which is fun to say), and it substituted perfectly for the real thing. Nick popped a piece of American cheese between two bread cheese “slices,” sauteed it in some oil, and prayed that he wouldn’t drop dead on the spot.
Read the full story.
(Photo ©2013 Bon Appetite)
Returning to NYC this March: The Big Cheesy! Some of NYC’s finest cheese slingers go head to head in a grilled cheese grill-off, and you get to taste and vote on the entries, enjoy some Sixpoint brews and meet the city’s finest cheesemongers and grilled cheese chefs:
The 3rd annual Big Cheesy grilled cheese competition returns to Openhouse Mulberry Saturday March 23-March 24. Featuring the city’s best sandwich makers, including the champions from Big Cheesy 2011 (Milk Truck) and Big Cheesy 2012 (Melt Shop), you taste all seven but only get to pick one as your favorite! Big Cheesy is the People’s Champs Award for grilled cheese sandwiches in NYC, and this year our lineup is absolutely delicious.
Featuring: Keith Klein’s Milk Truck, Lucy’s Whey, Melt Shop, Murray’s Cheese Bar, Say Cheese UWS, Sons of Essex and ‘wichcraft. And, Brooklyn’s own Sixpoint Brewery.
The Big Cheesy is March 23 + 24 from noon to seven pm. Tickets are $25, same as last year (no inflation, and these aren’t gas prices!), and you’ll get one hour to taste, sample, discuss, marinate on all the creative recipes and celebrate the classic American sandwich. Sixpoint is coming through with Sweet Action, Bengali Tiger, Crisp and Righteous Ale. A beautiful afternoon for all!
Get your tickets now, last year tickets went fast for prime time slots, and I’m guessing this year will be busier still.
Huffington Post Taste features 25 grilled cheese recipes, culled from restaurants, cooking blogs and cookbooks:
In terms of comfort food, grilled cheese is the comfiest. Not only does it evoke memories of childhood dinners, it also makes for the perfect winter meal when paired with hot soup.
As much as we adore and often crave the American cheese rendition of these beloved sandwiches, trying out different cheeses and add-ons is always a rewarding experience. We piled dill pickles, tomatoes and deli meats on our grilled cheese as kids, but are ready to explore some more new toppings.
Here are 25 of the gooiest, tastiest grilled cheese recipes we could wrangle up.
Check out all the recipes here.
(Photos ©2013 Huffington Post and original sources)
Luke Holden and company have decided to update the chainlet’s menu for the first time in three years, adding a lobster grilled cheese loaded with lobster, Gruyère, and white bread from Maine. They’re selling hot cider by the cup, seasonal Maine beers at their Upper East and Upper West Side locations, and two kinds of vegetable soup made by Hurricane’s Soup, a Maine company whose name (and chowders) predate Sandy.
(Photo ©2012 Luke’s Lobster)
Seems pretty obvious once you see it, don’t it, and yet it never would have occurred to me… (via foodrepublic.com):
Hack Of The Day: How To Make Grilled Cheese In A Toaster
Well, it’s more like WITH a toaster. You’ll see.
This has to be the easiest hack ever. You just turn your toaster on its side, carefully load in two slices of bread topped with cheese, push the lever and watch one of the most beautiful broiling processes known to mankind.
Then UNPLUG THE TOASTER, nudge the slices out with a still-preferably-not-metal implement, and smush them together into a sandwich or eat them open-faced. Why this step? Because when I tried this experiment in my apartment, I shot two hot pieces of molten cheese-covered toast across my kitchen — all in the spirit of not messing up a pan and spatula. That’s why I experiment first and hit “publish” second. Or sometimes not at all.
(Photo ©2012 foodrepublic.com)