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Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese?

your favorite cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches?

ChowHappy Apr 23, 2007 07:21 PM

I've been experimenting... whats your favorite?

  1. m
    mojoeater Apr 23, 2007 07:24 PM

    Anything but american/velveeta/other processed cheeses. My favorite is to use two or three different types, one of which is usually a good sharp cheddar. And ALWAYS butter (not margarine) the bread.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mojoeater
      Kitchen Queen Apr 23, 2007 08:13 PM

      Yep, I agree, many kinds. Last week, I made on good thick Challah. Prov., munster, sharp cheddar and smoky gouda. Added thin slices of tomato to the middle. I grill 1/2 first and put into the oven to broil the top - tomatoes and 1 slice of the cheese, then add to the other half that's in the pan. This assures the tomato is cooked and the middle of the sammy is melted. YUMMO! I add grainy mustard or a yeh bit of wasabi mayo - can't be beat! :)KQ

    2. j
      Jimmy Buffet Apr 23, 2007 07:24 PM

      'Merican. I'm a traditionalist.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Jimmy Buffet
        ccbweb Apr 23, 2007 11:25 PM

        Right there with you. I will occasionally play with others, but I always come back to Kraft slices and Campbell's Tomato soup.

        1. re: ccbweb
          mojoeater Apr 23, 2007 11:26 PM

          I, too, love Campbell's condensed tomato soup (always with milk and never water). But I just can't get over the non-cheese.

      2. jinet12 Apr 23, 2007 07:31 PM

        Double Gloucester cheese...Incredible!

        1. mrbozo Apr 23, 2007 07:43 PM

          Brie or Camembert between French bread. Smoked Gouda between whole wheat or multi-grain. Technically not grilled cheese: grated fresh pecorino on fried organic Russian rye bread.

          1. p
            piccola Apr 23, 2007 07:56 PM

            I like fontina.

            2 Replies
            1. re: piccola
              pepper_mil Apr 24, 2007 08:28 AM

              Second fontina. Fruilano as well, on a bread with some character and a nice glass of wine. Great meal.

              1. re: pepper_mil
                piccola Apr 24, 2007 05:40 PM

                I actually dig it on fruit and/or nut bread - the crusty European kind, not the soft Sun Maid kind.

            2. jdm Apr 23, 2007 07:59 PM

              I am eating one right now with a big bowl of soup! I like havarti for its melting quality and usually combine it with a sharp cheddar or an aged gouda. I really like it on
              semi- freddi sourdough with good butter. cook slowly in a cast iron skillet.

              3 Replies
              1. re: jdm
                missmojito Apr 24, 2007 06:11 PM

                I second the Havarti... it's great with thick crusty bread with mayo & dijon, smoked ham, grilled and a homemade tomato basil soup.

                1. re: missmojito
                  Jeters May 1, 2007 03:40 PM

                  thirding havarti -- with a crusty bread grilled in olive oil and a bit of pepper/kosher salt.

                  1. re: Jeters
                    THenderson May 2, 2007 08:21 PM

                    Oh yeah - love the havarti - - sometimes a little cheddar thrown in as well, on good bread with a quick swipe of honeycup mustard. yum.

              2. chloe103 Apr 23, 2007 08:06 PM

                Gruyere. (How do I make accents??) It's got a nice nutty undertone, and melts beauuuuuutifully.

                3 Replies
                1. re: chloe103
                  lavendula Apr 23, 2007 08:08 PM

                  Provolone! Great melting cheese :)

                  1. re: chloe103
                    Gnu23 Apr 24, 2007 01:38 PM

                    I second the Gruyere. I also combine it with a sharp cheddar or a pepper jack for a little zing.

                    1. re: chloe103
                      Foureyes137 Apr 26, 2007 08:43 AM

                      Gruyere for sure. Outside of processed cheeses, none melts better with such little separation of oils/solids.

                    2. Marianna215 Apr 23, 2007 09:33 PM

                      I also do a mix - Always Mozzarella for it's beautiful melty texture -- it pairs well with cheddars - mild and sharp, as well as provolone. Surprisingly a mozz and smoked gouda mix is also fantastic.
                      Happy Grilling :)

                      1. Eat_Nopal Apr 23, 2007 11:06 PM

                        If you are willing to branch out beyond the boring.... try an Asadero for a real grilled cheese. You will want to actuall grill or griddle a thick slice of the cheese itself until browned & the center is gooey, then stuff in what ever bread you prefer.

                        1. Veggo Apr 24, 2007 12:19 AM

                          Havarti. With bacon. And tomato. On seeded rye or sourdough. Butter. Slowly cooked. 3 napkins.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Veggo
                            MeffaBabe Apr 24, 2007 05:30 AM

                            If I am having it with my "classic Cambells Tomatoe Soup" then I simply want American (Orange not white) and I want it on white bread with a tomato...
                            If there is not soup- I love Munster with tomato- it is much stringier than mozzarella cheese and has more flavor...
                            Another really fancy version is with Brie and Munster- best flavors from brie and strings from munster...

                          2. ballulah Apr 24, 2007 08:54 AM

                            I like pepper jack on rye bread. But I've never met a cheese I didn't like, grilled or not grilled. Haha.

                            1. farmersdaughter Apr 24, 2007 11:08 AM

                              My two all time favorites:

                              -smoked mozzarella with sundried tomatoes

                              -gruyere with country style mustard and grilled or caramelized onions

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: farmersdaughter
                                missmojito Apr 24, 2007 06:13 PM

                                both sound awesome

                              2. Will Owen Apr 24, 2007 11:31 AM

                                Sharp cheddar, either by itself or with something else on buttered sourdough. I like pepper jack, münster, supermarket mozzarella and Havarti. I had some port du salut that was pretty cool, too.

                                Having said that, any grilled cheese on any bread is alright with me when the craving hits. If all I have is good-for-ya bread (like TJ's flourless sprouted wheat), Kraft Slices and margarine, so be it.

                                1. morgblorg Apr 24, 2007 11:33 AM

                                  I love sharp, sharp cheddar and tomato but a new favorite of mine is basil pesto and mozzarella. Delicious!

                                  1. s
                                    sally from LA Apr 24, 2007 01:33 PM

                                    Double Gloucestor with Stilton on La Brea Bakery Olive Rosemary bread - divine!

                                    1. QueenB Apr 24, 2007 01:35 PM

                                      Plain old white american. Not Kraft, but the stuff sliced from the deli. Sometimes with a slice of provolone mixed in for extra zing and those cheesy threads.
                                      Butter is a must. Margarine doesn't seem to produce the same result for me.
                                      Soft, white bread.
                                      Thin slices of fresh tomato.

                                      1. r
                                        ricepad Apr 24, 2007 02:11 PM

                                        Pepper jack (or better yet, habanero jack) on garlic sourdough.

                                        1. c
                                          chowfamily Apr 24, 2007 02:23 PM

                                          Some of my preferences are Vermont extra sharp cheddar on olive bread or sourdough, with optional fresh tomato, basil, sauteed mushrooms, mustard and/or or sauerkraut, depending upon the season. Open faced is great.

                                          1. k
                                            Kaisgraham Apr 24, 2007 06:09 PM

                                            Velveeta cheese and lots of it with sliced tomatoes grilled with LOTS of butter on white bread and French's mustard. Comfort food at it's best. Terrible for you. So what.

                                            1. FoodFuser Apr 25, 2007 12:20 AM

                                              Lots of fun replies. This is indeed a project of each of us finding our individual ecstasy in refining a foodstuff that was all too often fabricated for us in less than ideal fashion during our impressionable youth.

                                              Recently there were two adults and two kids in the kitchen and we debated the merits of american cheese versus sharp cheddar, bread type, toasting methods, etc.. We constructed this compromise:

                                              1) Sprouted wheat bread, for a tooth feel of soft wheat kernels against the gooeyness of the melted cheese.

                                              2) Dry toast the sandwich's internal faces in a med-low-heated cast iron pan.

                                              3) Spread a thin thin sheen of mayo on the dry-toasted inside faces.

                                              4) The choice of cheese was a classic compromise: grated white cheddar thinly laid on each interior face, then a slab of american cheese in the middle, to melt and mix between the shreds of the firmer cheddar matrix on each surface. The resulting color contrast between white cheddar shreds and yellow center were noted when we ate.

                                              5) Pepper was applied to the inner face of one half of each sandwich, so that each diner could compare the results of each half for future reference and preference.

                                              6) Grilled with about 1 tsp of butter, with flat metal lid laying on the sandwich, occasionally pressed down softly.

                                              7) Sandwiches were rested for two minute before service.

                                              8) Campbell's tomato soup was the kids' request; the adults added the compromise canned tomatoes and sauted onions, stick blended with a dash of drained yogurt.

                                              9) Sweet gherkins, sliced into strips and chunks and left whole, were presented and devoured as a piquant and crunchy contrast to the toothsome layers of bread and cheese.

                                              10) Table conversation veered at one point to the hair-netted lunch-ladies in school cafeterias who stolidly served up the sheet pans of baked cheese sandwiches. Segues to the concept of Purgatory and Final Justice were encouraged and explored.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: FoodFuser
                                                lollya Apr 26, 2007 08:46 AM


                                                1. re: FoodFuser
                                                  KaimukiMan May 1, 2007 03:00 PM

                                                  using garlic butter or rubbing the bread with garlic before grilling really does the trick

                                                2. h
                                                  HillJ Apr 25, 2007 01:08 PM

                                                  Chudder and tomato. I use to have a source for chudder (fresh butter/white cheddar) and sliced fresh Jersey tomato was heaven until the source ran out...now I go for a sharp swiss and tomato.

                                                  1. j
                                                    jeffskal Apr 25, 2007 04:58 PM

                                                    Muenster with Challah or Egg Bread, lots of butter on all sides of the bread, and toasted in a waffle iron so the cheese oozes out and hardens....

                                                    1. whiteonricecouple Apr 25, 2007 05:12 PM

                                                      I'm in the Gruyère club. Some paper thin slices of onion, thin slices of tomato (Kitchen Queen makes a mean grill cheese I can tell) a hit of balsamic. On a rustic Italian or French loaf. Grilled with butter (go mojoeater) Then grainy or deli mustard on the side to dip in. I'm salivating just thinking about it. Smoked gouda a close second.

                                                      1. chigirl71 Apr 25, 2007 05:17 PM

                                                        Mmmmmm! A lot of these sound really good, I'll have to keep them in mind as we usually have soup and "grilled cheese"/pannini once a week. Tonight we had provolone with prosciutto on LaBrea's rosemary olive oil bread, that's a old standby for us and it is yummmmy!!!

                                                        1. b
                                                          bakergal Apr 25, 2007 06:17 PM

                                                          Kraft Extra-Sharp Cheddar on whole-wheat bread with sunflower seeds on the crust. The bread has to be cut as thin as humanly possible. I'm sorry, but nothing else will do.

                                                          1. ballulah Apr 25, 2007 09:15 PM

                                                            Every single one of these sounds absolutely delicious, and I've tried many of them based purely on the contents of my fridge (always *some* kind of cheese)/what kind of bread (always something good) I've had around.

                                                            1. Ora Apr 26, 2007 08:34 AM

                                                              Here's a previous discussion on the very same subject: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/31762...

                                                              9 Replies
                                                              1. re: Ora
                                                                sudiepav Apr 26, 2007 08:52 AM

                                                                For those who dis American cheese, try using REAL American cheese. Kraft makes it and Kroger has their brand also. It's hard to find...you need to read the labels. Most of what passes as American "cheese" is actually processed cheese food spread, or some such nomenclature. The real stuff is about 2x the cost of the imitation. If it comes in "singles" it's not what you want. I like American grilled with real butter on good bread; my husband adds some Jarlsburg and grilled onion and tomato to his.

                                                                1. re: sudiepav
                                                                  Eat_Nopal Apr 30, 2007 08:46 PM

                                                                  Isn't American cheese by definition... cheese scraps that have been reconstituted into a block (hence processed)?

                                                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                    FoodFuser Apr 30, 2007 09:15 PM

                                                                    It excels at melting. Try here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/391263

                                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                      Foureyes137 May 1, 2007 12:23 PM

                                                                      Sounds like a chicken/egg problem. Are you saying American cheese is scraps of other kinds of cheeses reformed into a block? Or is it scraps of American cheese reconstituted? If the latter, where did the first block of American cheese come from if it was made from scraps? If the former, how does it consistant taste the same, is it all made in one giant cheese sawmill that sees equal parts of it's constituant cheeses day in and day out?

                                                                      I'm being silly, but processed cheese is just a cheese that has emulsifiers and coloring added.

                                                                      1. re: Foureyes137
                                                                        Eat_Nopal May 1, 2007 03:20 PM

                                                                        The former... if I understand correct American is typically a blend of scraps from common U.S. cheeses like Jack, Cheddar & Mozarella. Why is it consistent? Why are big wineries Cabernet's consistent even though they buy from different growers all the time? I guess if you have enough variety of sources... the variation among tiny portions averages out to consistency for the whole.

                                                                        1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                          CuzinVinny May 1, 2007 09:20 PM

                                                                          My most innovative grilled cheese recipe is as follows: Use one or two of these three cheeses.. Gouda, Gruyere or Cheddar. Degree of sharpness depends on your liking. I especially love using smoked Gouda for toasting in a sandwich, along with crispy bacon, deli-style mustard and tomato. Gruyere is exceptionally wonderful when paired with thinly sliced ham or mortadella. I sometimes like to add a few very thin slices of Granny Smith apple to a grilled ham and Gruyere. For these types of sandwich, any high-quality artisan bread works beautifully.

                                                                          1. re: CuzinVinny
                                                                            cherrylime May 1, 2007 09:41 PM

                                                                            american or sharp cheddar and something called "english muffin toasting bread" does everyone have that or only the midwest..?
                                                                            I also recently read that using mayo instead of butter spread on the bread for grilling made it better. We tried it and it might be true.

                                                                          2. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                            Foureyes137 May 2, 2007 08:25 AM

                                                                            I think the differences from bottle to bottle of big botteler cabernet are perceptable. Kraft singles taste like Kraft singles taste like Kraft singles as far as I can tell. I smell a Frontline Investigation!

                                                                            1. re: Foureyes137
                                                                              Eat_Nopal May 10, 2007 03:38 PM

                                                                              Whoa... I never said Kraft singles were "real American" cheese. They are definitely industrialized clones. What I was referring to is if you got sliced American from a deli, made by a local dairy in some small mythical town 100 years ago... it would be made from the scraps of common cheeses.

                                                                  2. Emme May 1, 2007 10:36 PM

                                                                    Good crusty white (sourdough) bread with cheddar/cheddarella ... and ricotta
                                                                    Put cheddar(ella) slices on buttered bread and put each face up in a pan so the cheese can get a little gooey. Put a few dollops of ricotta in the middle of the cheddar(ella) and create the sandwich, making sure to secure and close the edges of the sandwich and allow the cheddar to trap the ricotta in the middle. Press down a little and allow both sides to brown.
                                                                    Optional: Dip in cream of tomato soup.

                                                                    1. purple goddess May 1, 2007 10:44 PM


                                                                      Or Saganaki, lightly pan fried, on a piece of toasted dark rye, with lemon juice.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: purple goddess
                                                                        Eat_Nopal May 10, 2007 03:38 PM

                                                                        Sanganaki would certainly be interesting!

                                                                      2. jword2001 May 1, 2007 10:53 PM

                                                                        Velveeta!,or American...add pepperjack to either one, always on white cooked in real butter and slathered in Miracle whip...sometimes add ham or bacon...is that my arteries i feel clogging?????,oh and with an ice cold Coke.

                                                                        1. h
                                                                          havi May 2, 2007 07:54 PM

                                                                          I recently had an awesome goat cheese, feta and cream cheese with tomato at a local place.....wouldn't be my comfort grilled cheese (anything with a good sharp cheddar, white raw milk is awesome!) but it was really good.....and a really different take on it...

                                                                          1. jfood May 10, 2007 04:08 PM

                                                                            Very basic using the KISS theory:

                                                                            LAND O' LAKES WHITE AMERICAN CHEESE from the deli.

                                                                            1. v
                                                                              voodoochild May 10, 2007 05:35 PM

                                                                              Good, sharp provolone (the kind that comes wrapped in a wax ball) makes the most excellent grilled cheese ever.

                                                                              1. h
                                                                                happyhomemaker May 12, 2007 01:35 PM

                                                                                ChowHappy----Thanks for starting this thread. I can't wait to start experimenting with some of the suggestions.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: happyhomemaker
                                                                                  ChowHappy May 23, 2007 10:16 PM

                                                                                  it has been really fun to try all of them but beware- your pant size may increase.

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