First off... Bread.
Thick, thin, sourdough, rye, gluten free, soda bread... so many options! Think outside the box. I love myself a good crusty bread - Italian or French. A little stale, perhaps? No problem. In actuality, this is how I "rescue" my stale bread before it molds.
Fat is essential to a Grilled Cheese. Butter is the common go to. Please, for heaven's sake, use real butter. Oh, and make it better, by doing half extra virgin olive oil and half butter. For best results, smear the butter into the bread and heat the olive oil in the pan. Or make it EVEN BETTER and use part bacon fat as some of your grease. You'll thank me, I promise.
Now for the fillings; remember to be open minded and brave.
Cheese. Essential. Obviously. I love softer cheeses because they melt a little fast and a littler better. Think Brie, Camembert, or Bleu Cheese. Another idea is to mix your cheeses. Sometimes a mellow cheese and a sharper cheese are delicious together. Think: mild provolone and a sharp cheddar. Or soft mozzarella with a touch of feta. Cream cheese, also a great option for a sweeter twist.
Meat. Optional - but delicious. Since the sandwich should mostly be about the cheese, I say go light on the meat, but that's just me. Also, cook it first! Whether searing a thin slice of ham up in some butter or making some crispy, crispy bacon, cooking it first adds flavor and detracts from it being too wet. Salami, prosciutto, and other salty and thin pieces of meat are delicious, too.
Fruits + Veggies.
So many good things can be added to your sandwich for grilled goodness. Avocado, tomato (slice thin and pat dry before adding!), apple, pear, baby spinach, sauteed sweet peppers, caramelized onions, sliced artichoke hearts,
My best sandwiches always come out when I start at medium, enough to brown the oils on the bread, and then lower the heat to allow the insides to melt all together. And then serve warm. Enjoy!
Bleu cheese, a slice of salami, fresh baby spinach, and thin slices of apple and avocado.
Sharp cheddar, with cut up pieces of fried ham, finely chopped cooked broccoli, and caramelized onions.
Herbed Chevre with thin slices of pre-cooked wine & cheese sausage, and avocado and caramelized onions.
Triple Creme Brie on one side, Nutella on the other, thinly sliced strawberries in the middle, and seared in butter.
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