A grilled cheese sandwich is a perfect union of bread, butter, and melty cheese — so why would you ever want to turn your back on one of its key ingredients? Especially if that ingredient is butter?
Lots of reasons, as I learned from Gabrielle Hamilton, chef and owner of Prune. Even diehard lovers of the buttery version (I am one) will find something new and valuable out of smearing their bread with mayo instead. As she says in this CHOW video, “This is the greatest cooking medium of all time for a grilled cheese sandwich.”
Mayo won’t burn as easily as butter does, which — just like that — solves the biggest challenge of grilled cheese: how to get the insides to heat through before the outside blackens.
But these are matters of convenience and reliability; what’s most important are the results, which are not like any grilled cheese that butter could make. The oil and egg in mayonnaise brown and crisp more evenly and lavishly than butter, creating a glossy crunch from edge to edge.
Get the full recipe.
(photos ©2014 Food52.com)
Tasting Table shares the recipe for an amazing sounding “Italian Grilled Cheese”:
Grilled cheese in heaven. With anchovies.
"You don’t often encounter sandwiches cooked in eggs and milk," says Danny Amend of Marco’s in Brooklyn. “It’s uniquely Roman.”
The glorious spiedino alla Romana is popular in Italian sidewalk cafes, where it’s sometimes served on skewers. Call it a grilled cheese, but this sandwich is operating on another level entirely, with its custardy bread and cheesy anchovy-strewn filling (see the recipe), and a lot of thought has gone into the spiedino’sconstruction.
① The slices of soft white bread used to build this beauty are dipped in a Parmesan-enriched egg-and-milk batter, then cooked in butter until the bread is super crisp and golden.
② Inside, the buffalo mozzarella is hot and melty, layered with just a couple of salty anchovies. “We made 10 different iterations during testing,” Amend explains. “We wanted that nice fish flavor, but didn’t want it to be the first thing you taste.”
③ To brighten things up, Amend adds what you might get away with calling a salad on top: fresh parsley and raw shallots with capers and lemon juice. “It’s a nice little foil,” he says. “Otherwise things could get heavy.”
Read the full post and get the recipe.
(Photo ©2014 Tasting Table)
NYC’s best grilled cheese competition returns to Openhouse Gallery this weekend. Get your tickets now! Via Openhouse:
Grab some napkins and a cold beer, and get ready to bite into the gooiest grilled cheeses in the city again (and again and again)! That’s right, ladies and gents, we are bringing back the Big Cheesy for the fourth year in a row! This tasty showdown is happening on April 12th and 13th from 11am to 7pm, with tickets priced at only $30.
We here at Openhouse have been work with Time Out New York to gather some of the best grilled cheese makers at our 201 Mulberry space for two days only, so you can sample their work and crown one of them the Best Grilled Cheese in New York City. Participants include Murray’s Melts, 5oz Factory, Sons of Essex, MeltKraft, and more. And while you’re chowing down on samples don’t forget to pick up your two complimentary Goose Island craft beers, because nothing goes better with a delicious grilled cheese than that.
(Photos ©2014 OpenHouse)
Think you have a first-rate grilled cheese recipe? It could win you $10,000. via wisconsincheese:
It’s that time of year - National Grilled Cheese Month - and The Grilled Cheese Academy has launched a the 2014 Grilled Cheese Recipe Showdown! If you have an original and outstanding grilled cheese recipe using Wisconsin Cheese, submit it at www.GrilledCheeseAcademy.com for a chance to take home the grand prize of $10,000!
What you will need to enter:
- Your best grilled cheese recipe featuring delicious Wisconsin Cheese
- A drool-worthy photo of your grilled cheese masterpiece
- A creative sandwich name
- A brief description of why this recipe is your claim to fame
Once your entry is prepared, visit GrilledCheeseAcademy.com to officially submit your recipe.
After the contest closes on May 12, three well-known food bloggers will assist the judging panel in taste-testing and choosing the winning recipes. Come back next Wednesday to meet the three guest judges and find out their top two grilled cheese tips!
The Washington Post’s Going Out Guide reports from GCDC, D.C.’s newest grilled cheese restaurant, and new home of Sophie Slesinger, former Saxelby’s monger and recently honored on Zagat’s “30-Under-30: New York City’s Food and World Up-And-Comers" list:
Upstairs: litigation. Downstairs: culinary innovation. Such has been the scene for the past few weeks at the Dupont law firm of Bruce Klores as the attorney transitions into a new career: co-owner of GCDC, a grilled cheese restaurant coming to Pennsylvania Avenue NW by early March.”Law lends itself to a certain kind of creativity,” Klores said, “but this is a whole different thing.”
Klores dreamed up the idea for a grilled cheese restaurant six years ago and brought his son Steven into the business once he graduated from college. The father-son duo drafted Sophie Slesinger, a New York cheesemonger, to curate the cheese selection and wine pairings for the sandwiches-by-day, wine-bar-by-night hangout.
But the sandwiches are Steven’s creation. The younger Klores builds them through trial and error with a high-speed convection grill that can toast each one to perfection in under two minutes. A few of the concepts that have stuck so far: A sandwich version of French onion soup, with caramelized onions mixed in with the cheese; a carbonara grilled cheese, with goat cheese, leeks, pancetta and black pepper; a steak and kimchi grilled cheese with a cheddar blend; and a “White House Kitchen Sink” sandwich, which has bacon, two fried eggs, pepper jelly and cheddar.
As for Steven and Slesinger, they’ve been engaged in deep philosophical conversations about the nature of the grilled cheese sandwich. To wit: When does a cheese sandwich with taste-grabbing ingredients such as steak and kimchi become something more than a humble grilled cheese sandwich? Perhaps it’s sort of like the famous Supreme Court ruling on obscenity: you know it when you see it.
Check out the full story.
(Photos ©2014 Washington Post)
The Washington City Paper reports on new grilled cheese shop/wine bar GCDC, opening soon, just blocks from the White House. And they’ve brought in a strong team: Sophie Slesinger — Saxelby Cheesemongers alum and former co-host for Anne Saxelby’s podcast Cutting The Curd — will be running the cheese program:
A new restaurant focused on cheese is preparing to open in mid-February, just a couple blocks from the White House. By day, GCDC will be a fast casual grilled cheese spot, while in the evenings it will be a place for the happy hour crowd to pair beers, wines, and cocktails with cheese and charcuterie boards. GCDC, at 1730 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, comes from the father-son team Bruce and Steven Klores. “I’ve always loved food and serving people,” Bruce says. “This is something I always wanted to do.” Before he became a lawyer, Bruce spent his youth working odd jobs in the food industry, including selling hot dogs at the Statue of Liberty and bartending at now-shuttered Arbaugh’s restaurant throughout law school.
GCDC plans to take its cheese quite seriously: The Klores duo have brought in cheesemonger Sophie Slesinger, who previously worked at Saxelby Cheesemongers in New York. (Zagat named the Bethesda native one of the New York food world’s 30 under 30 up-and-comers this year.) GCDC will feature more than 20 domestic and international cheeses which will rotate in and out. “Cheese is seasonal just like vegetables,” Slesinger says.
The menu will feature eight to 10 specialty sandwiches, including vegan options. Among the highlights: a French onion soup sandwich with gruyere and caramelized onions on sourdough as well as a lobster sandwich with l’amuse gouda and chives on sourdough. All the breads—ranging from multigrain to rosemary—will come from Lyon Bakery. In addition to grilled cheese, the 45-seat restaurant (with 20 patio seats) will also serve salads, soups, and tater tots topped with the various cheeses. In the evenings, the menu will expand with more small plates, charcuterie, cheese boards, and grilled cheese squares (so you can try multiple offerings instead of a large sandwich). An “anything goes” sandwich will also be available, so diners can mix and match pretty much any ingredient in the menu for their grilled cheese.
Check out the full post.
(Photos ©2013 Washington City Paper)
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.)