Whipping up dinner during the week can seem like a chore, no matter how easy the recipe. But what if your reward was some melty, cheesy goodness? Count us in! Grilled cheese has been a comfort food and family favorite for decades, but you might have been making it wrong your whole life. We asked Greg Barnhart, owner/founder of Toasty Cheese, Chicagoland’s premier gourmet grilled cheese company, to help us learn to make the most perfect grilled cheese…and boy did he deliver! This sandwich is a fun fall favorite that you’re going to love making…but seriously rejoice over eating.
Pick Panini Bread
Panini bread has the best air to yeast ratio for a grilled cheese sandwich. Avoid using slices that are too thick as that makes it tough for the cheese to melt.
Coat with a Combo
To get that coveted crispiness on the outside of the sandwich, it’s crucial to coat the bread with some kind of fat before cooking it.
While some foodies swear by mayo and others insist butter is best, Greg says a combo of both is ideal. “We use a blend of 60% butter and 40% mayonnaise,” he says. “That combination allows for the bread to get perfectly golden brown.”
Let It Rest
After removing the sandwich from the heat source, Greg recommends letting it “rest” one-two minutes before eating it.
When It Comes To Cheese, Pair Soft with Soft and Hard with Hard
Don’t be afraid to mix cheeses – some of the best tasting sandwiches are made with a mixture of multiple cheeses that complement each other. Remember to pair soft cheeses with soft cheeses and hard cheeses with hard cheeses – if you don’t, the cheese will melt at different rates and you’ll end up with an uneven sandwich.
Keep the Temperature In Check
A great grilled cheese requires a little patience. Cook your sandwich on medium, not high heat. Turning the up won’t cook your grilled cheese faster, it’ll just burn the bread.
Up the Ante with Ingredients That Pack a Punch
Don’t be afraid to add in your favorite protein, veggie or condiment.
“At Toasty Cheese we like to experiment and have fun with different ingredient combinations,” says Greg. “Our most popular sandwich, the Chef’s Choice, features house-cured Duck Bacon, lots of Provolone Cheese, fresh Spinach & Arugula, Sicilian Cherry Tomatoes and a zesty aioli.”