This sandwich will change your life. If the only way you’ve ever had grilled cheese is a kraft single between two pieces of sandwich bread, this grilled cheese will make you weep tears of joy. It is everything you’ve dreamed that grilled cheese could be, but what no grilled cheese has ever lived up to.
Grilled cheese is really easy to make, but there are a couple of secrets that send this grilled cheese over the top. The first secret is…
Yes, you read that right. Hot cream cheese takes grilled cheese to a whole new level. Cream cheese brings the entire sandwich together and adds a layer of creaminess that cannot be achieved without it. When eating this sandwich, most people won’t realize there is cream cheese on it, but they will be racking their brains trying to figure out what is making their sandwich so delicious.
Once you try cream cheese on your grilled cheese, you will never go back. It’s a gift from the gods.
After you’ve spread a good layer of cream cheese on both pieces of the bread (I love to use a farmhouse white bread), start warming a tablespoon of butter over low heat. And here’s the second secret to the perfect grilled cheese:
Season the sandwich.
I know this may sound strange, but this is something high end chefs do. A tiny bit of salt (and pepper later on) brings out the flavor of the sandwich. We taste through salt and it is essential in bringing out the flavor of any dish. Grilled cheese is no exception.
Sprinkle just a pinch of salt in the pan with the melting butter.
Smear the butter around to cover the bottom of the pan.
Place the bottom slice of bread in the pan with the cream cheese facing up.
This is the point in grilled cheese making where you can really get creative, choosing the cheese! For this sandwich I used cheddar and fresh mozzarella. Feel free to follow my example or strike out on your own and choose a different cheese adventure. I do have a couple of tips for you when choosing your cheese:
Don’t pick more than 2 or 3 cheeses. Any more than this and the flavors of the cheese will get lost. Part of the beauty of any dish, even simple dishes like grilled cheese, comes from bringing out the flavors in the ingredients. If you use too many types of cheese, the flavor of your grilled cheese will get muddled.
Choose one cheese for its flavor and one for its “meltiness”. I think we all have dreams about that iconic, TV commercial moment when the grilled cheese gets pulled apart and the melted cheese slowly drips out. You don’t? Maybe that’s just me. Even if you don’t have grilled cheese dreams, I would imagine that you do expect the cheese in your grilled cheese to be gooey and stringy when melted. This is an important element in a perfect grilled cheese. I love mozzarella for this purpose. The other cheese you choose needs to give the sandwich a punch of flavor. The classic cheese for this purpose is cheddar, but other good options are the nutty Gruyere, spicy pepper jack, or even some sort of flavored cheese like a pesto jack.
Whatever cheeses you choose, at this point in the process go ahead and lay them on the sandwich.
And season the cheese with a little bit of freshly cracked black pepper. Again, not very much, but just enough to help make the cheese taste even more flavorful.
And finally, top the sandwich off with the second piece of cream cheese smeared bread, cream cheese side down.
Here’s the next secret to perfect grilled cheese:
Cover the sandwiches with a lid while they cook.
This ensures that the cheese will melt completely in the time it takes for the bread to toast. Without the lid, it is possible that when you cut your sandwich open you will have unmelted cheese on the inside. If this happened to me, I might cry. Avoid tears of sorrow, and cover your grilled cheese. This is one of those things that makes the world a better place.
After a couple of minutes, remove the lid and lift up the sandwich to check the toastiness. If the sandwich is toasted to your liking, flip it over to let the other side toast.
And, again, COVER YOUR GRILLED CHEESE!
Sorry to yell, I get excited about grilled cheese.
After a minute or two, check the bottom side of the sandwich. If it is good and toasted, remove your grilled cheese from the pan…
And cut it open.
Then weep tears of joy.
Look at that loveliness! Utter cheesy perfection.
And believe it or not, it tastes even better than it looks.
My husband and I don’t have kids yet, but this grilled cheese makes it onto our menu regularly. I have no shame in admitting this. We are two adults who love this dish and after you make a perfect grilled cheese I guarantee you’ll love it too.
The Perfect Grilled Cheese
- Farmhouse white bread
- Cream cheese
- Cheddar cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
- 1 tbs butter
Melt the butter in a pan over low heat. Sprinkle a pinch of salt in the pan and smear the butter around to coat the entire pan.
Generously spread cream cheese on one side of both slices of bread. Once the butter has melted, place one slice of bread, cream cheese side up, in the pan. Place the cheddar cheese and mozzarella on the bread and lightly season with freshly ground black pepper. Top the sandwich with the other slice of bread, cream cheese side down.
Cover the sandwich with a lid and allow it to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove the lid and lift the sandwich to check how much it has toasted. If it is golden brown, or toasted to your liking, flip the sandwich over and cover it. Allow it to cook another 2 minutes.
Check the bottom side of the sandwich and if it has toasted, remove the sandwich from the pan.
Slice it diagonally in half and enjoy!
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