I took no pictures because (1) I think we're all a bit tired of that and (2) no photograph could capture the perfection. After a successful attempt with your classic processed cheese grilled cheese sandwich, I suggested to Kayla we should try some crazy gourmet version with some cool cheeses, and she let me go for it.
The problem is, when you're using real cheese and not processed cheese, the bread will burn before the cheese has melted when making grilled cheese in the traditional fashion. This, my friends, is how to make the perfect artisanal grilled cheese without going the Alton Brown rout.
- 1/2 loaf of rosemary focaccia bread, thick enough that you can slice it into reasonably bread-y slices
- a good non-stick pan
- a good oven-safe pan
- an oven
- a stove top
- smoked gouda
- aged cheddar
- Swiss cheese
- Becel margarine (or use butter, if the above cheeses aren't enough indulgence for you)
(1) Preheat your oven to broil - 500 degrees. Have a reasonably hot pan ready to go on the stove top.
(2) Cut the bread into reasonably bread-y slices. You want to have clean sides, like a regular loaf of bread, that you can butter.
(3) Prep your cheeses. 1/8 or 1/6th of an inch thickness. I did two "sticks" of the cheddar, Swiss and gouda per sandwich, and two similarly thin rounds of the provolone. No matter how you'll slice it, there's gonna' be a lot of cheese on there - but you don't want too much of any one thing! (Kayla prefers it without the Swiss - I definitely prefer it with.)
(4) Prep your focaccia slices. Apply the margarine gently to two slices of bread, one side each.
(5) Apply one slice of the focaccia to the oven-safe pan, butter-side down. Layer your cheese atop it, don't put the second piece of focaccia on top, and slip it into the oven. Now simply wait until the cheese melts, or is reasonably close to it. Once it's reasonably close,
(6) pull it from the oven and transfer it into the non-stick pan on the stove top, apply the second piece of focaccia to the top of your sandwich (butter side up), and permit it to fry just long enough for the bread to turn perfectly golden-brown. At that very precise moment, flip the sandwich and provide similar thermal affection to the other side. Remove from heat, slice diagonally into a pleasant triangle shape and enjoy immediately.
I dip mine in Heinz, Kayla prefers Campbell's tomato soup. Bon appétit!