Well, Sparky threw down the gauntlet yesterday, and I felt I had to respond. Sadly, I did encounter some limitations, as by the time I was done work last night, it was after 9PM, and most places were already closed. This severely limited my ability to collect the required ingredients, so I’m afraid you’ll have to take this as a representative example. I suppose if I had been clever enough to head out of my way on my commute home, I could have found everything I needed in Edmonton, but in my little town, the only thing open that late is the grocery department at Wally World, and they’re not exactly renowned for their high-quality contributions to civilization.
Nevertheless, this should give you a solid idea of my version of a Grilled Cheese. And I want to make another one already.
First things first, we start grilling all the other ingredients that will be required. In this case, I added a bit lot of diced garlic, some diced red onion, and some sliced mushrooms. I sautéed them in some extra virgin olive oil, and added just a touch of my secret ingredient:
I’m not sure if this stuff is available everywhere, but it is the greatest, most magical substance in the whole world. It adds a bit of kick to everything and tastes delicious. If you can find some, get it. I also diced up some deli-sliced black forest ham and sautéed it as well. I would normally use several different kinds of meat, adding in some roast chicken or turkey as well. But, of course, WalMart had nothing like that. Of course. For the second sammich I made today, I substituted the deli-sliced meat for tinned crab-meat and tuna. Also delicious.
From there, use some thick-sliced bread. I’m not a huge fan of dense breads, but if you love them, all the power to you. I’ve made these with a very light cheese-bread with a thick crust, and they were quite excellent, even if they didn’t cook all that evenly. That is the advantage to a regular bakery bread: it cooks evenly. Normally I would use thin-sliced sharp cheddar, with an extra slice of Kraft Singles Sharp synthetic-cheese for meltiness and cohesion. I like a little goo in my GCS, even if it’s comprised of petroleum distillates and recycled tires. Here, I have to forego my proper deli-style extra-old cheddar in favour of more synthetic-cheese. Not ideal, but it’ll work in a pinch. Pile it high on each sammich, and carefully close the whole thing up.
Pete likes mayo on both sides of the bread. I personally don’t like it on the inside, but it’s your preference. I don’t want to taste the mayo, I want to use it for a crust. Here’s why: mayo is mostly just eggs. If you bathe bread in a egg-and-milk wash and grille it, you get French toast. (That would, I believe, then make this sammich a Monte Cristo.) We don’t actually want the French toast, but we want the French-toast-style crisp to it.
In grilling, because I use so much cheese, I use a medium-high heat (just over 7 on a stove with a 1-10 dial), and flip the sammich very frequently. This allows both sides to cook evenly, and allows the cheese to melt on both sides. A lower heat has a hard time getting through a thick slice of bread; a higher heat cooks faster and doesn’t give everything inside a chance to goo together.