Tasty Thursday: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

I've been a fan of grilled cheese sandwiches pretty much since I can remember. Not only are they a tasty treat, they are quick and easy to make. They can also be healthy. When I was younger, I used to eat white bread grilled cheeses with the kraft american singles. It definitely made for a gooey and tasty treat, but now that I am a bit older, I find that the white bread with yellow slices of cheese food (pretty sure that's what it says on the package) doesn't cut it anymore for me. With so many varieties of bread and cheese out there, there's countless ways to enjoy this tasty treat.

Good Bread!

Good bread is one of the key components to a tasty grilled cheese. I generally like to start with a good hearty bread, like a 12 grain or something like that. Don't settle for white bread if you don't have to. Branch out and try something new! I have found that multigrain, honey wheat, marbled rye, foccacia, and sourdough are all tasty substitutes for traditional white bread. Heck, if you can bake your own bread and incorporate it into your sandwich, you're really in the money. There's nothing quite like the aroma of freshly baked bread through the house, and it makes for a killer sandwich.

So many cheeses. Which one should I use?

What about cheese? Should you go for classic American or try something different? Well, if you are doing just cheese with no goodies on the inside, then I would suggest getting a cheese that is more likely to melt. Provolone and a nice fresh mozzarella are two of my favorite cheeses to use in a grilled cheese. I love Gouda, but it doesn't really melt that much so I would recommend not using a cheese like this on its own. Remember as well that cheeses have very different tastes. Provolone and Mozzarella are both tasty, but both relatively bland in flavor compared to an aged cheddar or Gorgonzola (I don't recommend ever using Gorgonzola for anything. I think it tastes foul).

So you have good bread and good cheese...now what? Well, here are some tasty variations you can try on the classic grilled cheese. If you find a good aged cheddar, try adding some apple slices and grilled chicken with your sandwich and grill it up. It creates a nice tangy yet tasty combination. Take some nice fresh beefsteak tomatoes and add some fresh mozzarella to it, and drizzle with basil infused olive oil and grill for a nice little spin on caprese salad. How can you beat a caprese salad sandwich? Even if you go simple and do a grilled cheese with American, you can still spice up the sandwich with your favorite soup. While traditionally people go for tomato soup, try other soups out as well. I love dunking my sandwich pieces in my soups before taking each bite. Mmm!

The great thing about grilled cheese sandwiches is that there are countless possibilities and combinations to be tried. In fact, I found this glorious website that shows tons of different ways to enjoy the classic sandwich. Believe me, I will be trying these soon. So there you have it! Grilled cheese sandwiches are something that remind me of my childhood, and with so many different varieties of bread and cheese, there's always room for new creations.

How do you enjoy your grilled cheese sandwiches?

Seth P.