July 22, 2020
One of my retirement projects has been developing my grilled cheese skills. It’s an ongoing effort but far enough along that I decided to share where I’m at. (Please note: developing my food photography skills is not one of my retirement projects.)
I don’t remember learning to make grilled cheese, but somehow I arrived in adulthood able to butter one side of bread, put cheese in between two such slices, and heat the resulting sandwich in a frying pan until the outside was browned and the inside was melty. The first change I made from this approach was to stop buttering the bread and start buttering the pan. No more ripping the bread with butter that’s too cold. No more waiting for the butter to warm up or doing a bad job trying to soften but not melt it in the microwave. I don’t remember where I picked up that tip, but once I did, I never looked back.
I do know where I got the next change; it was from the grilled cheese truck that comes to many of the summer festivals on the mountain (not this year of course): sprinkle some shredded cheese in the pan before putting the sandwich in. Make sure there’s enough of it so that the shreds extend beyond the bread and make crispy fried cheese bits along the edges. Thanks, Meltz!
Earlier this year, Disney shared the recipe for the Grilled Three-Cheese Sandwich from Woodyâ€™s Lunch Box at Disneyâ€™s Hollywood Studios, which I’ve never eaten because Toy Story Land opened after my last trip to Florida but that didn’t stop me from trying the recipe. I followed it as written once, and the sandwich was good but not good enough that I wanted to make two spreads before I could assemble sandwiches again. I did incorporate a couple of the ideas into my process, though.
So here’s what I do now:
1) Rehydrate some Penzey’s Minced Garlic. I’m not sure how much â€¦ somewhere around a teaspoon, probably. I basically shake it out into the bottom of a quarter cup metal measuring cup and add water.
2) Assemble sandwiches: slice of bread (I use whatever healthy whole grain variety we have around), two slices of provolone (or pepper jack), one wedge of Laughing Cow spread on top of the white cheese (only on my sandwich, as Mr. K doesn’t care for it)â€”I’ve been using the garlic and herb flavor so far but might experiment with others soon, two slices of sharp cheddar, the other slice of bread.
3) Drain excess water from the minced garlic, mix in some mayo (a teaspoon, maybe a bit more). Spread on one side of the sandwiches.
4) Melt butter in the frying pan then sprinkle some shredded cheese on top of that. I use cheddar or colby jack usually.
5) Plop the sandwiches in the pan and cook until brown on first side. Take them out, repeat step 4, and put them back in to brown the other side.
6) Serve with dill pickle spears and enjoy. (I’m not sure where I got that idea but it is such a nice balance to have that sharp salty pickle to cut the richness of the sandwich.)