The Grilled Cheese The Art of Making A Classic Sandwich

Tried and True

Nothing goes hand in hand like bread and cheese. It's a pairing that dates back to ancient times. And it doesn’t get more classic than a grilled cheese sandwich. It's the secret midnight snack you ask your dad to make when you can’t sleep, the partner-in-crime of tomato soup, and the lifeblood of college students across the country.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to making a great grilled cheese sandwich. Just like apple pie or chocolate chip cookies, amateur cooks and professional chefs alike bring their own, unique style to making this tried and true staple.

First Things First

At its core, this is a simple sandwich. But with your selection of bread, cheese, and some optional ingredients you can really spruce up a grilled cheese. Some connoisseurs prepare it with bacon, macaroni and cheese, even caramelized onions. But today, we'll keep it simple.

Sliced sharp cheddar cheese packs the perfect punch.

First things first, choose a cheese (that's kind of fun to say). Sliced. Not sliced. Shredded. Whatever suits your fancy. I like my sandwiches flavorful, so I've selected a pre-sliced sharp cheddar.

One thing I don't like pre-sliced, however, is bread. Most local grocery stores sell delicious, fresh-baked loaves - my go-to. Choosing this type of bread means you'll have to slice it yourself, so be careful not to make your slices too wide. Otherwise, you'll have a tough time getting your cheese to melt before burning the outside of your sandwich.

Make sure your butter is room temperature and ready to spread.

You can use butter or margarine. If you use a stick of butter, give it some time to reach room temperature so it's easier to spread. Next, grab some grated Parmesan cheese.

Fresh, grated Parmesan adds a special touch to your sandwich.

Ready? Alright, let's get started!

Now, Butter that bread.

Once you've got your bread ready to go, spread the butter evenly over one side of each slice. Not too much, not too little. Make it just right.

The Magic of Sprinkles

After buttering, I like to sprinkle a little grated Parmesan cheese to the outside of my sandwich. This step is completely optional, but adds a divine crispiness. If you've never given this a try, I highly recommend it.

Sprinkle a thin layer of grated Parmesan on the buttered side of your bread slices.

Into the Frying Pan

You've got all the makings of a great sandwich ready to go. Now it's time to throw it onto the stove and let chemistry and physics work their magic!

Stack your bread and cheese and place your sandwich on a frying pan over medium heat. Lower the temperature slightly as the sandwich cooks. You know what they say - slow and steady wins the race.

After a while, flip the sandwich over. You may have to repeat this process a few times as you go to ensure both sides are sufficiently browned and that the center has melted to perfection.

The Perfect Golden-Brown

Your grilled cheese sandwich is ready to enjoy! Pair it with a bowl of tomato soup and a chilled glass of water and you've got yourself a simple but timeless meal.

Written and photographed by Anastasia Sistevaris | www.asistevaris.com

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