Friday, September 17, 2010

The Squirrel Can Cook - Grilled-Cheese Sandwich

I’m not really sure how it happened; perhaps it was because I like them so much myself, but my grilled cheese sandwiches are renowned in our family.

It is often the simple things, the easy things that get taken for granted. Have you ever asked yourself, “What is it that makes a good grilled cheese sandwich?” Is it the perfect golden brown crust? That buttery crunchy gooeyness? The cheesy flavor? It is difficult to quantify just what elements combine to take a grilled-cheese sandwich from good to great.

While it is possible to add all sorts of ingredients (pickles, jalapenos, sliced meats, onions, just to name a few) to your sandwich, today we’re going to cook your simple basic grilled-cheese sandwich.

For our ingredients we will need:
Two slices of white bread
Two slices of American cheese
Butter, or in this case Smart Balance

That’s it! That’s all the ingredients we will need.

Spread a good amount of butter on one side of each slice of bread. Go ahead and use ½ Tbsp. or so on each slice.

Then stack your bread with the butter sides together. This allows you to stack your cheese on top, while already having both pieces of bread buttered. I have seen people try to spread butter on the second slice of bread after they’ve already assembled their sandwich and put it on the grill. This is both awkward and dangerous, as it increases the chance that you might burn yourself. Just set the sllice of bread with the cheese on it, butter-side down, on the griddle, and then place the second slice of bread, butter-side up, on top.

Now we’ll place our sandwich on a griddle which we have heated to 375°. A thermostatically controlled cooking surface is very important to cooking consistently good grilled-cheese sandwiches. It is entirely too easy to let a pan on the stove get too hot for cooking up grilled-cheese. If you do not have a griddle, you should very much consider getting yourself one, as they are excellent not only for grilled-cheese sandwiches but also for pancakes and French toast.

You want to cook your sandwich, undisturbed, on the griddle for 4 minutes. You do not want to be messing with it, sliding around, or lifting up to see if it is getting brown. Just leave it alone.

When the 4 minutes have lapsed, flip the sandwich over and cook it on the other side for another 4 minutes. I have found that 4 minutes at 375°cooks your sandwich to an almost-perfect golden-brown.

After you have cooked are sandwich for 4 minutes on each side, remove it from the griddle and allow it to rest for 1 minute before slicing.


The Squirrel shall not live by bread NUTS alone!

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