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How do you grill cheese?

Perhaps this has been discussed before, if so, I'm sorry. Inspired by a discussion concerning tomato soup, I want to know everyone's grilled cheese secrets. For me, if it's not straight up american on a quality white bread (sometimes with some grill seasoning on the outside), then it's mozzarella en carrozzo (sp?). Fresh mozz. in bread dipped in egg batter and fried french toast style. Alright everyone, spill your guts.

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  1. grilled cheese has been discussed alot on this board. You might want to use the search function (for "grilled cheese")

    here are 3 threads

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

    1. I prefer the classic, but if I want to go a step up I use cheddar or gruyere, and add Dijon and a little chopped fresh herbs to the softened butter.

      1. I add tomato, avacado and cilantro usually sub american chz with pepperjack:)

        1. My favorite - which led to a direct gain of 5 pounds over a two week period - pain de mie, brushed with generous amounts of olive oil - heat up a small skillet brushed with olive oil - put one piece of bread olive oiled sized down, add generous amount of high quality coarsely grated gruyere and fontina, put other piece of bread on top, top with cast iron skillet. Flip when bottom bread is golden brown, sprinkle that side with fine sea salt, and remove when second slice of bread is golden brown. Slice in two - on the diagonal, and eat.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MMRuth

            I do the same as MMRuth except I use butter, and I don't butter the bread first - just melt a little in pan, then melt a little more with the flip. And if I'm using salted butter I won't usually add any more.

          2. When I was in Rio de Janeiro at the beach this past summer, there was a guy on the beach literally grilling cheese on a stick with a small charcoal grill that he could carry around.
            You could have it with or without herbs spread over it. Now, that's grilled cheese.

            2 Replies
            1. re: rcburli

              you can do that with some firmer cheeses that never fully melt, like halloumi cheese. it's awesome.

              1. re: piccola

                I do that with halloumi. I love having a little lemon flavored olive oil drizzled over it and some crushed red peper flakes.

            2. butter, think butter, think melted butter, think melted butter with white bread, think melted butter in a skillet with a slice of white bread covered in your favorite cheese, slowly melting, topped by an number of ingredients from ham to bacon to tomato to avocado.

              BUT IT ALL STARTS WITH BUTTER

              1. I thought you meant the actual grilling of the cheese, like halloumi or brie. You know, when you coat it in flour or breadcrumbs and then FRY it.

                TT

                1. I saw Bobby Flay, cut a 2 inch thick piece or provalone, or similar (believe it was a spanish cheese), marinate in olive oil w/some herbs. Grill it for 2-3 minutes per side, and serve with crusty bread. It looked amazing.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: mcel215

                    Sounds good to me! Was it Manchego cheese?

                    TT

                    1. re: TexasToast

                      Yes, that was the name of the cheese!

                      BTW, is the flavor similar to Provolone, or just the texture. He did suggest Provolone as a substitution.
                      Thx.

                      1. re: mcel215

                        Texture wise I suppose they're similar, but as far as taste, on this recipe, with the herbs and all, it wouldn't make a difference.

                        TT

                  2. Back to grilled cheese sandwiches. I like to make mine on a grill pan. The bread only touches the pan on the ridges, so you can keep it on much, much longer without really browning it and the butter doesn't burn either. That way it is as crunchy a good cruton when you eat it. This works especially well when I'm in a retro mood and am using processed cheese on white bread.

                    1. I like them open face... I toast white bread and butter it well. Then I slice ripe tomatoes paper thin and layer about 1/2" thick onto the toast. I grind on fresh four color pepper and sea salt. Then I slice extra sharp aged cheddar very thin and layer on top about 1/4-1/2" thick. Then I broil until the cheese is melted, oozing, and a wee bit browned. Mmmm...

                      1. I butter 2 slices of bread (one side only) and use cheddar or mozzarella in the middle. Put it in a cold skillet, cover, and turn the heat to medium high. Remove the lid and flip it over. I always try to let the cheese stick out over the edge of the bread, because I love those little crisp bits of nearly burned cheese.

                        For a (slightly) lighter version, I'll stuff a pita with a bit of cheese and grill in a dry skillet. Very good with spicy chutney.

                        1. I love grilled cheese!i butter mine as well but I use a slice of American and a slice of havarti with sliced pickled jalapeno peppers in between!!! delishhhhh!!

                          1. Does anybody ever use shredded lettuce after they've grilled the cheese and then put the sandwhich together?

                            TT

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: TexasToast

                              Sometimes I like the cold/hot thing going on in the sandwich. I'll butter-saute (see above) the bread and cheese "open-faced" in the skillet, covered so the cheese gets gooey. Then I go to the frifge and see if there are any meats and veggies that look interesting. mbed them into the cheese, construct, slice and enjoy. I almost always do tomatoes this way. I do not like hot tomatoes in the grilled cheese.

                            2. Well the cheeses and breads may vary, but when I grill my cheese I occasionally put a sprinkle of granulated sugar between the cheese and bread.
                              My mom did that when I was a kid so I occasionally like the random note of sweetness in my cheese sandwich. It's interesting, especially with very sharp cheddars or a pepper jack.

                              1. Try smearing the bread inside with a bit of chipotle paste. from Big Sky retaurant in San Luis Obispo.

                                Or my faaaavorite grilled cheese of all time from Dr Buck's Garden Of Eatin' in Capitola:

                                Using a whole grain wheatberry bread, butter outside. Slices of good mild cheddar, paper-thin slices of red onion, a slice of ripe tomato, and a gob of alfalfa sprouts. Grill. Eat. Serve with homemade potato chips.
                                Can you tell from the sprouts this was in the 70's?