One of the staple foods of any dad cooking for the family is the classic grilled cheese. It’s fast, it’s easy and boy is it tasty. Odds are your mom or dad taught you the same way to cook grilled cheese as everyone else. You heat a pan on the stove or use a hot griddle and place a piece of bread on the surface with the buttered side down. Add a couple pieces of American cheese and then top with a second piece of bread with the buttered side up.
When the bottom piece is golden brown, flip it over and brown the other side. It takes five minutes and you’re ready to eat. There are many ways to can take the traditional dish and jazz it up.
Most people who cook grilled cheese use white or wheat bread because it is the most readily available, but adding a different bread to the mix can completely change the flavor. My favorite is to use a sourdough because it gives a tartness that complements the saltiness of the cheese and butter. You can also use a German rye. You can even do some experimenting with asiago and other breads. The key is to try it out and see what works best for you because everyone’s tastes are different.
This is where things can really get interesting. There is a nearly endless number of cheese choices and combinations you can try. The standard cheeses most commonly used are American and cheddar, but why not make the ultimate grilled cheese with a cheddar, Muenster and Swiss combination. You can add a little heat with pepperjack. Go a little exotic with goat cheese or raid the gourmet aisle for Gouda and Havarti. When you combine cheeses and different breads, the flavor combinations can be explosive.
While tradition states that a grilled cheese should only include cheese and bread, why not go the extra mile. Use an aged white cheddar and pickles for a unique flavor or add lettuce, bacon and tomato for a grilled cheese BLT. While you’ve got that pepperjack on, why not include crushed tortilla chips to add a nice crunch. You can also add some mayo or Sriracha sauce for a truly glorious flavor.
For more information and recipes about cooking for the family, visit www.dadsthatcook.com.