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Walden Ponderer

Grilled Cheese: from the very basic to the very not basic

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I’m glad you brought this up because it’s something I sit and ponder quite a bit: when do the sandwich additions preclude the sandwich being called a “grilled cheese”?  e.g. one of my favorite sandwiches as a kid was at my friend’s mom’s house and she would put crispy bacon, cheese, and grilled onions on the bread and bake in the oven for a bit to properly melt the cheese and then fry it open faced in butter to get the crispy crust , then add sliced tomato and avocado before joining the two pieces of bread and all the accompanying goodness together into what she called her “grilled cheese special.”  and it was a fantastic sandwich but I always wanted to tell her that I didn’t know what it should be called but it sure as hell didn’t look like a grilled cheese to me. 

It should be called, completely fucking awesome sounding.  

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On 7/8/2019 at 12:28 PM, Jack Straw said:

this is pretty much where i end up.  i have tried all different kinds of stuff from fancy cheeses, vegetables - i did one once with a thick slice of pate and sliced cornichons, it was way too rich - and ultimately, my favorite is sourdough bread with white american and swiss slices, served with plain lays, and pickles (i usually go dill and b&b slices).  i think some of it is the nostalgia of that way (minus the swiss) was a fairly regular meal as a kid.

related question:  wheat/rye bread is, far more times than not, better than white bread (for sandwiches, anyway).  so why do wheat and rye bread suck so much ass compared to white for grilled cheeses?  its weird.

May have been answered already but imo it’s too dense.  It gets heavy when grilled and the flavor intensifies overpowering the other flavors.  Except with a Rueben. 

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1 hour ago, Deej said:

It's a grilled sandwich with cheese. Grilled cheese should consist of bread and cheese, and whatever fatty substance is used to fry it. I guess it should really be a fried cheese sandwich.

Or call it a melt. But it's not a cheese sandwich that's been grilled unless the main protein containing ingredient is cheese. I feel like it's ok to add bacon bits in small quantities or maybe grilled chopped onions, but only if it serves to enhance the flavor of the cheese. You start adding other stuff and the cheese is soon enhancing the flavor of some other ingredient.

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So the official ruling is...as long as the ingredients between the bread are 51% cheese, then it’s a grilled cheese.

Or we could just go with who gives a fuck what people want to call it.  If it’s grilled, contains melted cheese and tastes good, it’s a grilled cheese...or whatever the fuck else you want to call it.

I’ll allow either.

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41 minutes ago, Landomatic said:

So the official ruling is...as long as the ingredients between the bread are 51% cheese, then it’s a grilled cheese.

Or we could just go with who gives a fuck what people want to call it.  If it’s grilled, contains melted cheese and tastes good, it’s a grilled cheese...or whatever the fuck else you want to call it.

I’ll allow either.

One man's humble opinion....

A grilled cheese should be predominantly cheese and bread. Adding stuff to it should not disqualify the sammich from being called a grilled cheese. Unless said additions serve to overpower the cheese,  in which case it is nothing more than a grilled sammich containing cheese. The cheese should be the star of the show, always and forever.

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Agree with all the mentions of the Chef Show on Netflix. Really enjoyed it and was surprised that I did cause I never watched the movie. The grilled cheese segment with Bill Burr of all people was memorable. Couldn't find a clip of it but I found one where Roy Choi discusses his methods on some random morning tv show. White & yellow cheddar, gruyere and parmesan. 

 

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Quote

The key is practice, of course. As Favreau says, referencing Bob Ross, "It's a little bit like when you watch the dude with the big afro painting. You say, 'I can make that landscape.' It looks easy when you're watching it." But there are a couple of tips that can get you closer to the best grilled cheese.

  • Add more butter, spreading it on the top slice before flipping.
  • Cut diagonally, for maximum gooeyness.
  • If the outside is a perfect golden brown, but the cheese still isn't fully melted in the middle, your grill or pan is too hot.
  • If you add tomatoes, bacon, or anything other than cheese, it's no longer a grilled cheese sandwich—it's a melt.

Made right, the Chef grilled cheese recipe might just prompt the same reaction Burr had after taking his first bite: "That's crazy."

https://www.newsweek.com/best-grilled-cheese-recipe-chef-movie-show-netflix-jon-favreau-roy-choi-1443250

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1 hour ago, Landomatic said:

So the official ruling is...as long as the ingredients between the bread are 51% cheese, then it’s a grilled cheese.

Or we could just go with who gives a fuck what people want to call it.  If it’s grilled, contains melted cheese and tastes good, it’s a grilled cheese...or whatever the fuck else you want to call it.

I’ll allow either.

That’s way too broad. A cheeseburger could fit under that definition.

Im in the cheese and bread only camp. Other ingredients will make a tasty sandwich, it just ceases to be a grilled cheese.

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3 hours ago, formermav43 said:

That’s way too broad. A cheeseburger could fit under that definition.

Im in the cheese and bread only camp. Other ingredients will make a tasty sandwich, it just ceases to be a grilled cheese.

Add something to a grilled cheese and it's a "Grilled cheese and _" or a "Grilled _ and cheese."

I thought there was an Anthony Bourdain quote about grilled cheese's being bread, cheese, butter, and maybe mayonnaise.  But I can't find it now.

 

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23 hours ago, dcbc said:

Add something to a grilled cheese and it's a "Grilled cheese and _" or a "Grilled _ and cheese."

Actually, that would be consistent with the way the menu reads at my favorite taqueria. "Quesadilla con pollo" or "quesadilla" or "quesadilla con carne", etc.

I still tend to default towards "call it whatever you want," but this is certainly a reasonable position to take. 

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I have now gotten this suggestion from two separate sources, so I had to Google it, and yes, would smash: apple-cheddar-waffle grilled cheese sandwich: 

apple-cheddar-waffle-sandwich-maple-dijo

I've already packed all our kitchen gadgets, but as soon as we get to Raleigh, this is the first thing I'ma crank out of our new kitchen.

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I purposely bought a George Foreman grill years ago just to make melted cheese sandwiches - this was before you could get panini grills in the US...  Butter and mayo, thinly sliced tomato, basil leaves, Gruyere cheese and cured ham (Serrano, Prosciutto, etc) on a fresh French bread baguette put in the old Foreman until the cheese melts... Not strictly a "cheese" sandwich but you can leave off the ham if you want...  :)

Another favorite - especially if visiting Paris - is a hand-held crepe (galettes) with cheese from a street cart.  Crepe made on the griddle and Emmental (Swiss) cheese put on the almost finished crepe - folded in half and in half again and served to you like a sno-cone. Got to eat it fast before the fat from the melted cheese runs down your hand/arm...

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Made a good GC&_ today.

Whole wheat, two slices of sharp cheddar, shopped up bits of left over beef ribs, butter in the pan and mayo on the outside of the top slice. 

No pics.  Sorry.  Was hungrier than I was in the mood for photos.

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53 minutes ago, dcbc said:

Made a good GC&_ today.

Whole wheat, two slices of sharp cheddar, shopped up bits of left over beef ribs, butter in the pan and mayo on the outside of the top slice. 

No pics.  Sorry.  Was hungrier than I was in the mood for photos.

Not a grilled cheese. 

Kroger sometimes carries a Vermont smoked cheddar and a slice of that combined with a slice of pepper jack for spice and a little Colby or Colby jack makes a ridiculously great grilled cheese. Smokey taste with a little spice is perfect. 

Edited by Junior Miller

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4 minutes ago, Junior Miller said:

Not a grilled cheese.  

I'll agree, it was a Grilled Cheese & Short Rib.

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Beef short rib melt. Jesus Christos people there are reasons we define things in society. At least use e established terminology when it's clearly defined and been there far longer than anyone alive today has existed. 

Edited by Junior Miller

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10 hours ago, Junior Miller said:

Beef short rib melt. Jesus Christos people there are reasons we define things in society. At least use e established terminology when it's clearly defined and been there far longer than anyone alive today has existed. 

Just a moment.  I'll see if the manager is available.

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3 hours ago, dcbc said:

Just a moment.  I'll see if the manager is available.

Funny just when I opened this and saw this post I was waiting on a to go lunch order where the counter lady was rude as shit. No manager needed, just shrugged it off and left

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16 hours ago, Junior Miller said:

Kroger sometimes carries a Vermont smoked cheddar and a slice of that combined with a slice of pepper jack for spice and a little Colby or Colby jack makes a ridiculously great grilled cheese. Smokey taste with a little spice is perfect. 

that sounds delicious.  but ultimately, i think no matter what kind, or how many fancy kinds of cheeses you use to compose your grilled cheese, you really need at least one slice of American (I like white better than yellow but both work) or other chez - the kind with a z - like the stuff that has a label that says "cheese flavored food product" - strictly for the high goo/melty factor that cheddar and other real cheeses lack.

 

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6 minutes ago, Jack Straw said:

you really need at least one slice of American 

Why stop at one?  I'll go with 64 slices, thank you very much.

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Yes, we keep a ceramic butter dish on the counter which always contains a room temperature stick of butter.  Wife had it when I met her and I've wondered how I ever lived without it since.  Highly recommend, not just for grilled cheese, but for everything where soft butter is preferred to hard butter (which is just about everything).  Looks something like this...
0d13842b-cd90-45b1-8a85-92883234c21c_1.fdb6b1cd7e368fff495e3e6c2eb296ff.jpeg?odnHeight=450&odnWidth=450&odnBg=FFFFFF


Those are for the fridge. Get one of these for the counter.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076H4SDBT/

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1 hour ago, shnsajax said:

Costco sells small containers of this and its become a must have for grilled cheese for me. 

 

Chef Shamy Garlic Butter

Four pounds should be enough for four sandwiches. 

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23 minutes ago, ChickenSandwich said:

How long does the butter last in this thing?

30ish days. You fill them with like a half inch of water that creates a seal. 

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18 minutes ago, Deej said:

If it's going bad, you aren't eating enough butter.

I’ve never had any go bad in doing the non-water one for about 10 years.

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19 minutes ago, shnsajax said:

30ish days. You fill them with like a half inch of water that creates a seal. 

I filled your mom with a half inch last night...  wait, what? 

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17 hours ago, Junior Miller said:

Funny just when I opened this and saw this post I was waiting on a to go lunch order where the counter lady was rude as shit. No manager needed, just shrugged it off and left

Were you ranting and raving about the definition of things on the menu?

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This thread is lacking pics. My effort from last night, inspired by this thread, was tasty. Sharp cheddar, shredded mozz for stretch, and a bit of Parmesan on sourdough.

2766dd5ed263f5829fb84340a1696a26.jpg

Edited by Dutch

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I'm also intrigued by Babish's "Grilled Cheese Deluxe."  I'll give this a try and report back.

edit. "I mean, bro, someone already posted the same damn link.  On the same damn page."

Edited by Dutch
Oops. I should try reading before posting.

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3 hours ago, WhatTheBuck said:

Were you ranting and raving about the definition of things on the menu?

No, they were properly defined. If, instead of Szechuan chicken it said "sesame chicken minus the sesame seeds different sauce add a bunch of vegetables" then I would have said what the fuck is this shit and walked out. 

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Best use I’ve found for “lean brisket”. I believe the cheese blend here is a little white cheddar, some Muenster and Gruyere.
04ab10cc72a89810f708058bd4ad70b5.jpg

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Brisket melt. Not a grilled cheese.  Looks fantastic,  though.


John Brotherton says you are wrong, but it’s ok. Sammiches defy rules.

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14 minutes ago, scottsins said:

 


John Brotherton says you are wrong, but it’s ok. Sammiches defy rules.

 

He's wrong. Cheese should be the star.

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2 hours ago, scottsins said:

Best use I’ve found for “lean brisket”. I believe the cheese blend here is a little white cheddar, some Muenster and Gruyere.
04ab10cc72a89810f708058bd4ad70b5.jpg

 

Are those sautéed onions I see or is that some cheese? Hard to tell on phone  

My mom use to make me a brisket melt with a little mayo. Use to kill those sandwiches but in hindsight the brisket was awful. 

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Cleveland has a few Melt restaurants and i love the concept with their better than average beer selections and huge menu of different grilled cheese options.  Wish something like that would open here in arizona.  

Locals probably don't like melt but when I have to go up there I really like to eat there. 

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I got a little smashed last night and thought of this divine thread.  I have to admit I'm a bit of a heathen as I love a grilled cheese with homemade ramen as an au jus.

The sammich is butter grilled homemade sourdough bread (dagwood, of course) with olive oil mayo, Murican cheese and ham slices.

The ramen is beef consomme with rice noodles.

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On 7/8/2019 at 7:01 AM, RMac5 said:

Great thread OP. Love grilled cheese sandwiches too. One of our favorites is when we finish the gc we throw some grated cheese down on the hot griddle and lay the sandwich down on that melted cheese, then flip and do the other side. It creates a hard crunchy texture with that burned cheese taste but the interior is still hot and gooey.

I've been thinking about this comment lately. This is actually what I love about Detroit style pizza -- the cheese cooking into the crust. With a grilled cheese or a melt, it's even more important. I have always done this with shredded cheddar in the past, but I did it with some crumbled muenster this evening, and I was very happy with the resulting carmelized, crunchy-gooey combination. I didn't have enough butter, so I improvised with a splash of olive oil, and I liked what I got.

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