8/26/08 | Grilled Cheese Sandwich
[ Currently Eating: Grilled Cheese Sandwich ]
I had a friend in college who once subsisted through all his finals on nothing but grilled cheese sandwiches.
Regrettably, this is not his story. =)
Nevertheless – I have eaten many a grilled cheese in my day. It’s cheap and fast, takes no special skill. You can dress it up any way you like. A “recipe” isn’t really needed – but people seem to love it when I attempt to calculate the price of single slice of cheese and a tablespoon of butter. I haven’t the heart to tell them I’m making it up usually. Man, I’m not going back and looking at grocery receipts and dividing each item on the calculator!
2 Slices Bread — $0.15
1 Slice American Cheese (or other meltable) — $0.20
1 Tbsp Butter or Margarine — $0.10
Use a pan (or pancake griddle) that will fit the 2 slices bread. Put on low to med heat. You want to have enough butter to coat the bottom, so the entire bread surface gets crisped. When the butter is melted, put the bread in the pan. Put the cheese down on one slice of bread. Some people like to wait until the bread is cooked, flipping it once, and then putting down the cheese.
Either way, keep checking the bottom of the bread with a spatula so it doesn’t completely burn. When cheese is sufficiently melted, and bread sufficiently toasted flip the piece of bread w/out the cheese onto the other one. Take it out of pan, cut it if desired, and enjoy.
I’m a huge fan of grilled cheese done in this manner, but you can make it even simpler by just cooking it in the toaster. Or, don’t use butter in the pan. I tend to go with the butter if possible. It’s not as good for you, but I remember my mom making them this way on the stove.
I’ve also tried making the grilled cheese with oil in the pan, but it doesn’t taste as good to me. The other day I tried a little bacon fat instead and that made the bread taste a little weird. I had decent results with cooking spray, but still it’s not the same as butter. I’ve seen some people use mayo, but I haven’t tried that yet.
You can pretty much use any type of bread. But sandwich type bread seems to work the best – just make sure there aren’t too many holes or the cheese can leak out down to the pan. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – yummy, crunchy cheese bits.
The sky is the limit for the type of cheese as well – I just go w/ American because it’s convenient and melts nicely. But any meltable type of cheese will do. Cheddar, Swiss, etc. Just remember to slice it thin enough or it won’t completely melt in the pan.
There are an endless variety of extras you can add to your grilled cheese. If you put meat in it, like cooked chicken, sliced turkey, tuna, etc – then I believe it’s no longer strictly a grilled cheese, but it becomes a “melt”? Not sure about it. I’ll do that sometimes if we have leftovers. Oh, grilled cheese w/ bacon is pretty awesome too.
Veggies are good to put in the grilled cheese – you can just sprinkle cooked stuff like mushrooms on top of the cheese. For fresh items like lettuce and tomato, you have to wait until it’s just about done to put them inside.
I personally like ripe tomato in mine. What I do is slice up the tomatoes beforehand. Then cook the grilled cheese sandwich as normal, and in fact close it and cut it. Then stack the two cut halves on top of each other with the tomato between and you have a quadruple decker with double cheese. See the Fun photo above.
I guess that if you buy bulk cheese and bulk bread, you could get the price down much lower than the 45 cents I put it at. Though cheese is kinda expensive nowadays. Still, this is cheap breakfast on the run if you’re in a rush. You could probably subsist on nothing but grilled cheese for quite awhile. I wouldn’t recommend it though. Although, my college friend who ate grilled cheese every day is now a successful neurosurgeon…