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Secrets to the Best Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwich

Secrets to the Best Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwich

Whether you have it with tomato soup, dip it in ketchup, or just eat it by itself, it's a sandwich that makes you feel like a kid: pure delight and magic.

What goes into the perfect grilled cheese sandwich? Put aside tricked-out versions and consider the classic grilled cheese. This is a simple sandwich yes, but one whose enjoyment lies in the indulgence and luxury of simple ingredients and their execution to deliver what you could argue satisfies more than a meal at the country's best (and most expensive) restaurants. So it's not strange that the grilled cheese sandwich has become the theme of food trucks and restaurants across America, but it is bizarre (and sad) that it has made its way to frozen food aisles (seriously?) and that often, when you do order it, it's not made properly. It's a simple sandwich for crying out loud. Make it make it the right way, and if you’re making it at home don’t make it from a box. Make it yourself. It and you deserve no less.

Classic Grilled Cheese and Tomato Recipe

An amazing grilled cheese sandwich is simple, and yet in that simplicity, so rife with potential disaster. There are few things as sacrilegious as a failed grilled cheese sandwich. There’s nothing worse than biting into a grilled cheese sandwich and finding that the bread isn’t properly caramelized and crunchy and that, for the love of all things cheesy, the cheese isn’t melted all the way through. Are you kidding? Seriously?

To avoid failure and to achieve grilled cheese perfection you have only to keep five things in mind: a sufficiently but not overly grilled exterior, correct cheese-to-bread type, correct cheese to bread ratio, use of butter, and cheese that is melted all the way through.

That's it! That's all! But then you need to serve the sandwich immediately. My grilled cheese training goes back to countless afternoons after school and between dinner. I’d stand there peering over the counter and into the toaster, watching the coils turn bright red in hushed wonder, slathering butter on the outside of the bread, layering different cheeses, testing their meltability and combination, their integration with tomatoes, trying to get the most cheesy, gooey interior and the most beautiful light golden yellow and black speckled bread. And while I think the sauté pan is always the way to the perfect grilled cheese, many of the principles experimented with in the toaster as a kid still hold true. High heat, fully melted cheese, lots of butter — the grilled cheese should be the first thing any warm-blooded American kid learns to do after school.

For those who don’t get what the big deal is or the art form that this simple sandwich employs, take heart... it's really super easy.

What are the keys?

Cook with Butter Need this be explained? Always better with butter.

Melt and Brush on Your Butter Melting the butter beforehand gives you even distribution of the bread exterior for better flavor and texture.

Sliced vs. Non-Sliced and Room Temperature If you're using sliced cheese, bring them to room temperature, and if you're not, slice your cheese thin if you can and bring it to room temperature. If you can't slice it thin, at least bring it to room temperatures. Bringing cheese to room temperature ensures a better chance of melting it all the way through without going too dark on the bread.

Number of Slices I’m a four-slice man. If you’re going with slices, go with at least four. Two just isn’t enough cheese unless your bread is super thin. Make it cheesy.

Consider Par-Melting If you par-melt two slices of cheese in the microwave you get an even better gooey situation inside the bread. Just 15 seconds on a piece on a piece of plastic, enough to make it gooey but not burn or turn into a gloppy mess. Turn it over on the bread slice, put together and then you can go high heat on the bread in the pan and be certain the cheese is melted.

Use High Heat and Cover Get that pan hot and bring some great color to the exterior. Cover it as it cooks (using a lid that presses the sandwich down a bit is even better).

When Not Using the Pan… If you're not using the pan or the griddle, consider using even more butter on the exterior of the bread when toasting or grilling.

Arthur Bovino is The Daily Meal's executive editor. Read more articles by Arthur, reach him by email, or click here to follow Arthur on Twitter.


This Is Martha's Secret to the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Her favorite ingredient might seem like an unexpected addition, but it's the best way to achieve a classic golden crust.

For something as simple as a grilled cheese sandwich, it seems every home cook has their own special recipe, with endless combinations of toasted bread and melted cheese. Martha, on the other hand, likes to keep it really simple-a blend of American and cheddar cheeses on thick slices of sourdough. But her secret to਌reating the perfect਌rust isn&apost just butter in a hot skillet. Martha uses an everyday condiment to toast her bread, and it&aposs probably sitting in your fridge right now.

Our founder took to social media back in 2017 to teach Kevin Sharkey, the executive vice president and਎xecutive design director of Martha Stewart Brand Management for Sequential Brands Group, how to make the perfect grilled cheese in a Facebook Live stream. Kevin&aposs favorite iteration of this sandwich is a little more complex than Martha&aposs-he incorporates bacon, tomatoes, and pickles on a bed of shredded Gouda cheese-but Martha made it even better by slathering the bread in mayonnaise.

"[Mayo has] supposedly fewer calories, and it&aposs very tasty, and the bread doesn&apost burn," Martha says.

But Martha doesn&apost omit butter altogether. She later tells Kevin that she&aposll smear a small amount of butter on the inside of her bread before adding the rest of the ingredients. It adds a smoothness to the melted cheese and makes the interior of the grilled cheese much softer, regardless of which bread you choose. "They&aposre all good for a grilled cheese sandwich," Martha says.

You can watch Martha and Kevin make an impressive grilled cheese sandwich here, and then try your hand at Martha&aposs favorite grilled cheese with our recipe. Like Martha says, any combination of cheese and bread will make for a great grilled cheese-but Martha&aposs mayo-first approach is what makes your sandwich that much more toasty.


How To Make the Best Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich

  • shellfish-free
  • kidney-friendly
  • fish-free
  • alcohol-free
  • low-potassium
  • vegetarian
  • peanut-free
  • pork-free
  • pescatarian
  • sugar-conscious
  • tree-nut-free
  • soy-free
  • red-meat-free
  • Calories 232
  • Fat 15.4 g (23.6%)
  • Saturated 6.7 g (33.6%)
  • Carbs 14.9 g (5.0%)
  • Fiber 1.3 g (5.3%)
  • Sugars 2.2 g
  • Protein 8.7 g (17.4%)
  • Sodium 326.3 mg (13.6%)

Ingredients

small loaf hearty country-style bread

grated cheddar cheese (about 1 cup)

grated Gruyère cheese (about 1 cup)

Equipment

Cast iron or broiler-safe frying pan

Instructions

Slice the bread: Using a serrated knife, cut 4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices from the center of the loaf. Save the rest of the bread for another use. Mix the cheddar and Gruyère together in a small bowl and set aside.

Prepare the tomato: Thinly slice the tomato. Use a spoon to remove the watery pulp from the slices. Lay the tomatoes on a paper towel, blot the slices with more paper towels, and set aside on the paper towels while you prepare the rest of the sandwich.

Heat the broiler: Position a rack about 8 inches below the broiling element, and heat the broiler to medium.

Toast the bread: Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet or broiler-safe frying pan over medium-high heat. Swirl the pan to coat the pan evenly with butter, then add 2 slices of the bread. Fry (that's right — I said fry) until golden-brown on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the slices to a wire cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining butter and bread slices.

Spread on mayo: Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on the unbuttered side of each slice of bread. You might not use all of the mayo.

Broil the cheese: Give the pan a quick wipe with a paper towel. Place 2 slices of bread back into the pan, buttered-side down. Sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese mixture (about 1/2 cup) over each slice of bread. Broil until melted, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the tomato slices: Carefully remove the pan from the broiler and add 2 slices of tomato to each sandwich. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Broil again for 1 to 2 minutes.

Squish and slice: Remove the pan from the oven and top each sandwich with another slice of bread (toasted-side up). Press down on the sandwich with the back of a flat spatula to press the sandwich together. Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and cut in half crosswise. Serve immediately.


You don’t have to break out the fine china to fancy up your sandwich. Let the butter and/or bread do all work. If you want to take your sandwich to a more sophisticated culinary level, Rubin recommends using “truffle butter, herb butter, or garlic bread with garlic and Parmigiano.”

Tomatoes and bacon are tried and true add-ons. For an unexpected combination, Rubin recommends throwing in some jams and sweets. “I always love salty and sweet combinations,” he says, citing his favorite sandwich on the menu, the Maple Bacon (maple-glazed bacon, New York cheddar, and sharp brick spread on country white bread), as a perfect example. "The combination is insane.”


Grilled Cheese Add-Ins:

  • Herbs & Veggie Possibilities:
    Grilled onions
    Avocado
    Mushrooms
    Spinach
    Green pepper
    French fried onions
    Roasted tomatoes
    Roasted asparagus
    Dill
    Parsley
    Cilantro
  • Protein Prospects:
    Bacon
    Egg
    Ham
    Ground beef
    Ground Sausage
    Chicken
    Honey Roasted Turkey
    Pepperoni
  • Fruit Options:
    Apples
    Pears
    Figs
  • Preserves & Condiment Options:
    Fruit jams
    Preserves
    Dijon mustard
    Ketchup
    Mustard
    Mayo
  • Cheese Possibilities:
    Cheddar, sharp or mild
    American
    Provolone
    Swiss
    Colby Jack
    Monterey
    Mozzarella
    Munster
    Havarti
    Parmesan
    Feta
    Blue Cheese
    Velveeta
  • Bread Types:
    Sour dough
    White bread
    Wheat bread
    9 Grain bread
    Italian bread
    Bagels
    English muffin bread
    Pita
    Baguette
    Rye bread
    Brown bread
    Bun
    Focaccia
    Naan
    Ciabatta
    Flatbread
    Potato bread

You might remember that we mentioned that making grilled cheese is wonderful because it is so versatile. Even if you have the same ingredients in your fridge this week as you did last week, you might try adding something new to your sandwich or even simply changing up the bread or the cheese to add a brand new and completely different sandwich. Try combining two or more kinds of cheese, try a new add-in, or even use a different kind of bread. The possibilities are endless.


How to Make the Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

With all the hype about finding water on Mars and editing the human genome, you may have missed the most important scientific਍iscovery of our young century: Science has discovered the best cheeses for making grilled cheese.

What are the best cheeses for grilled cheese? We reveal them here, and offer 4 additional tips for making the best grilled cheese sandwiches.

How to Make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

1. Let Science Choose the Cheese

First of all, let&aposs agree: When it comes to the ideal grilled cheese, we want gooey and stretchy, not greasy and gross. So what type of cheese consistently gives us these results?

Science is prepared to weigh in. The bottom line: Your cheese should hit a sweet spot of pH balance. A lower pH means a weaker calcium structure, which means -- gooey, stretchy, perfect grilled cheese. But low pH is preferred only up to a point! Because if the pH is too low, you get a big greasy mess.

Here&aposs more on the science:

So which cheeses hit the pH sweet spot? Four cheeses with perfect pH are Manchego (the Spanish sheep&aposs milk cheese), Gouda (the mild Dutch cheese from cow&aposs milk), Cheddar, and Gruyère (the hard yellow cheese originally from Switzerland).


The secret to making a perfect grilled-cheese sandwich, according to a golf-club chef

Grilled cheese is one of life's ultimate comfort-foods.

Welcome to Clubhouse Eats, where we celebrate the game’s most delectable food and drink. Hope you brought your appetites.

Lee Westwood knows it as a “cheese toastie.” Jean van de Velde calls it a “croque monsieur.” Different countries have different names for a sandwich as simple as it delicious.

When Tiger Woods requests one, he asks for a grilled cheese.

A staple at diners and to-go counters, the grilled cheese gets lots of love in golf course kitchens, too.

At Montclair Golf Club, in West Orange, N.J., chef Ken Stelmack takes a can’t-fail approach, slapping slices of American or cheddar cheese onto buttered white bread and crisping the sandwich in a frying pan.

Pretty basic. But don’t let that constrain you. Stelmack says you should feel free to embellish while keeping these fundamentals in mind.

1. Switch up the bread

White. Wheat. Rye. Texas toast. Ciabatta. Stelmack has tried all of those, and others. Almost any kind of bread can work. It’s pretty much a matter of personal taste. On that note, don’t hesitate to use different kinds of cheese. Gouda. Fontina. Monterey jack. Stelmack has no rules for cheese-bread pairings. His one proviso revolves around blue cheese, which, he says, “I would not normally use unless it is with figs.”

2. Grill, don’t bake

Don’t cook it in the oven. Crisp it in a frying pan or on a flattop. Butter the bread. Avoid using oil. (“You want the buttery flavor,” says Stelmack.)

3. Use low heat and steady pressure

Cook your grilled cheese on low heat, so the bread doesn’t burn before the cheese gets nice and gooey. Also: pressing down on the sandwich with a spatula will help crisp the bread and melt the cheese. A panini press works nicely, too. Stelmack recommends against weighting down the sandwich with the pot or pan lid, as they might be dirtier than you think.

4. Combine cheeses

There’s no rule against using multiple cheeses in a single sandwich. White cheddar and gruyere is a winning combo, Stelmack says. But why not try a trio? Swiss, American and gouda. Cream cheese, gruyere and parmesan. The iterations are as varied as personal tastes.

5. Get the right cheese-to-bread ratio

It all depends on the thickness of the bread. But for his standard grilled cheese recipe, Stelmack uses two to three slices of American or cheddar. If your bread is especially thick, you might need to finish it in the oven, baking it for a few minutes, just long enough to melt the cheese.

6. Don’t be afraid to mix it up

Variety is the spice of life. And something to aspire to with your grilled cheese. To get you started, Stelmack offers these ideas:

  • Grilled cheese with tomato and bacon, open-faced and cut into triangle
  • White cheddar and gruyere with caramelized onion
  • Grilled ham and gouda
  • Brie with raspberries
  • Pulled pork and cheese
  • Swiss cheese and rye with a gourmet cheese of your choice. Camembert?

7. Choose a complementary side

A grilled cheese with nothing else can be pretty lonely. Of all the possible companions, Stelmack favors tomato soup, salad or French fries.


Best Gourmet Grilled Cheese

Gourmet grilled cheeses are essentially a glorified panini, but are sure to be a hit nonetheless. Here are some of our all time favorite takes on the fancy grilled cheese trend.

    : This delicious sandwich recipe has so many layers with different flavors that work flawlessly together. : A great way to spice up your classic breakfast sandwich! : This quick and easy recipe is filled with delicious flavor. : This includes all of the flavor from the classic caprese salad with but tastes out of this world with grilled sourdough bread! : This grilled cheese is loaded with gouda, caramelized onions, and maple whiskey bacon and is absolutely delicious!

Tips For Making The Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

Grilled cheese is a simple, and fairly basic recipe. But even the most basic of recipes have their reasons.

The only reason why grilled cheese is considered so basic is because it’s been around for pretty much forever. Okay, so for the last 100+ years at least. And just the way most things got popular back then, grilled cheese became so popular due to great marketing. Kraft did a great job.

The marketing was so great because the product was so cheap, since, you know, the cheese being marketed isn’t exactly the least processed type… Kraft sold almost 8 million boxes of its macaroni and cheese during the Great Depression, under the marketing campaign that you could feed a family of four for only 19 cents.

And what about the whole grilled cheese and tomato soup combo? Well, the cheese was so damn cheap that school cafeterias started buying tomato soup to go with toasted cheese sandwiches in satisfy the Vitamin C and protein requirements for school lunches, which lead to the classic combination.

Oh yeah, they were also not called grilled cheese sandwiches until the 1960s, since for a while at first this recipe was just one slice of bread with melted cheese on top. The toasted cheese sandwich recipe only evolved to two slices when someone decided it could be more filling, so they added the second slice on top. Shout out to whoever that was.

Today, a grilled cheese sandwich has absolutely no limits. You can use any variety of cheese, bread, fillings, etc… the possibilities are endless. With that being said, there are definitely some things you can do to make your grilled cheese sandwich just that much better. Like:

  • Use grated cheese. I’m not kidding. It cooks faster, easier, and you get that satisfying stretchy effect that we all love. If you don’t have grated cheese, cut your cheese into smaller pieces to get a similar effect.
  • Don’t butter the pan, butter the bread. Yes, both sides. Yes, of each slice. And don’t overdo it. A thin layer is enough, and if you do any more you risk ending up with soggy bread, no matter how much you toast it. If butter isn’t your thing, use olive oil. But again, don’t overdo it.
  • If you’re able to, always pair with tomato soup. It’s simply the perfect partner, especially if you want to make a grilled cheese your lunch. Homemade is always going to be better, and I’ll add a homemade recipe for that later, but canned is okay if that’s all you have.
  • If you wanna add filling, like meat, mushrooms, or vegetables, make sure you slice it fine so that the cheese can melt in between the pieces. My favorite filling is bacon!
  • Use a specialty bread. Regular sandwich bread can get boring, and if you want to get fancy you can get a french baguette or a ciabatta. These breads are more filling and have different texture and taste than the ole loaf bread. Treat yourself.

Thank you for reading, if you use my tips tag me on instagram @breakthrukitchen. I’d love to see! Be sure to subscribe down below to get notified when I post more recipes like this.


Recipe | Grilled Cheese Sandwich | The Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

Grilled Cheese&hellip So simple, but so yummy. This &ldquoThe Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich&rdquo recipe is my favorite combination of cheeses. Make sure you start by hand shredding the cheese &ndash it really makes a difference if you do it by hand. The cheese melts easier&hellip more ewwy and gooey. This goes great with my Tomato Basil Soup recipe!

The Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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8 slices of Italian Bread

1 cup of extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

2/3 cup of provolone cheese, shredded

2/3 cup of swiss cheese, shredded

Divide the bread into 4 stacks of 2 pieces. butter the tops and bottoms of the sandwiches. In between the slices, divide up the shredded cheeses. In a hot skillet &ndash or cast iron pan/griddle works best &ndash grill the sandwiches on medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side until they are brown and the cheese has melted.

Get the recipe for the simple and healthy Tomato Basil Soup here!

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Our Weekend in the Hamptons&ndash Our Barefoot Contessa Sighting (she sat at the table next to us at dinner!) and Martha Stewart&rsquos House


Watch the video: Σπιτικό Τυρί Κρέμα. Άκης Πετρετζίκης (November 2021).