Food From Home

Cooking at home for fun, health and frugality!

How To Make A Grilled Cheese Sandwich

on April 16, 2016

This month my daughter Amethesto chose four things to learn to cook. One of these things was a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Grilled cheese sandwiches are a classic.
I don’t remember learning how to make grilled cheese sandwiches. I’m pretty sure I was not born knowing how to make them but they aren’t complicated so good for non-cooks.

The sandwiches of my childhood were white sandwich bread with Velvetta cheese slices cut into triangles with the molten cheese oozing out. Velvetta does melt very well but at some point I developed an intense dislike for the way it tastes so we don’t use it at my house.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velveeta

As previously noted, it isn’t hard or complicated to make a grilled cheese sandwich. You can use a few different methods and change up ingredients to suit your tastes.
First thing to decide is your ingredients. I like sourdough bread best.  French bread, pumpernickel or rye bread are also good choices. Tonight we used an English toasting sandwich bread and it is pretty good as well. Choose a cheese-or combination of cheeses- that melt well. Cheddar, pepperjack, feta, mozzarella are some examples. I think thin sliced cheese is easier to work with than shredded cheese. You can have just cheese or you can add things like thin sliced/shredded cooked meat, pepperoni, thin cooked burger patty, tuna, caramelized onions, mushrooms, baby spinach, olives, peppers or even fruit…get creative!  Use up some leftovers! Don’t put very watery/juicy things directly on your sandwich though or your bread may get soggy. A grilled Reuben sandwich is delicious but drain the sauerkraut really well first. Finally, I choose to spread the outside of my sandwiches with regular butter. You could try something like margarine or cooking spray but they might brown differently, not be as crispy or taste different. Your call.

Next you need to choose what you will cook it with.  I’m a fan of my stainless steel pans for most things but when I want to make a grilled cheese sandwich it has to be my cast iron griddle. It is great for sandwiches, quesadillas, pancakes or French Toast. I have used an indoor electric George Foreman grill for making sandwiches as well. It works fine but I don’t have much counter space and it is annoying to clean so I prefer to use my stove. An advantage to that kind of grill though is that you cook both sides at once so it is a little faster. I think the sandwich gets squished a bit flatter.  I have never tried to make a sandwich with a clothes iron but some people have! http://www.southphillyblocks.org/photos_essays/grilled_cheese/

Now that those important decisions have been made, we are ready to assemble and cook!
Heat your pan, griddle or grill (or clothes iron. Ha!). I put my cast iron griddle over medium heat. Hagbard tried making grilled cheese on a higher temperature and ended up with a burnt result. Medium heat seems to be best. I let the griddle heat until drops of water sizzle and dance.
Assemble your sandwich while your griddle is heating. Put bread, cheese, other fillings, more cheese and bread. I used 1 ounce of cheddar cheese and 2 slices of deli ham for my half sandwich and double the cheese for Hagbard’s full size sandwich. Amethesto used about 1 oz of  pepperjack and 1 slice of ham on a half sandwich. The thicker your ingredients the longer it will take to heat through and melt the cheese even though the outside of your bread is browning so lower the temperature and cook longer if you want a thicker sandwich.

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Note the cheese on both sides of the ham.

Butter the outside of the sandwich evenly. I butter one side and put that side down on the griddle with the cheese and meat, etc on top of that. Butter the top slice of bread and place it on top. You don’t need a ton of butter.

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All buttered up!

After about 5 minutes on the griddle the bread on bottom should be a golden brown and the cheese should be getting melty. Flip the sandwich over. Cook another 5 minutes.

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That’s it. If you were using one of those grills for cooking your sandwich just 3-5 minutes would probably be long enough.

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Amethesto’s sandwich and potatoes.

We had our sandwiches with simple roasted potato slices tonight. Grilled sandwiches also go great with soup and we will always have grilled cheese sandwiches with homemade cream of tomato soup. Yummy!

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2 responses to “How To Make A Grilled Cheese Sandwich

  1. […] Grilled cheese sandwiches, cream of tomato soup […]

  2. […] rice 13. Mac & cheese, green beans 14. Tator tot nachos 15. Pancakes, fruit 16. Tomato soup , grilled cheese sandwich 17. Broccoli bowtie pesto pasta, garlic bread 18. Beans and rice, cornbread 19. Lasagna zucchini […]

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