The grilled cheese sandwich: It is the quintessential cuisine in the average American’s kitchen. It’s inexpensive and easy to make. Just slap some cheese between two slices of bread, fry it in a pan with a little butter and voila, the delicious, cheesy goodness is all yours.
The grilled cheese is absolutely wonderful in all its simplistic glory, but the traditional sandwich also offers seemingly limitless opportunities for innovation. Some folks like to add bacon or tomato, while others take it in a whole new direction and throw Ramen noodles on it. Yeah, Ramen noodles.
So what exactly are you putting on your grilled cheese these days? We want to know, so please tell us in the comments below. In the meantime, for your culinary enjoyment, we serve up a list of your local Patch editors’ favorite spin on the grilled cheese. Buon Appetito!
- Terri Miles, Orange Patch: Rye and American, with tomato. And you make it the right way, like my momma used to.
- Kathleen Shurman, Bethwood Patch: While I have an allergy to dairy that causes some rather exciting asthma attacks, sometimes I still get a craving for grilled cheese. There are some really decent vegan cheeses on the market that actually melt, and I lean towards the Monterey Jack versions. There's no point in doing it unless it's exactly right, which means thinly sliced tomatoes and seeded rye, spreading soy-based margarine on both sides of each slice of bread, and toasting in a cast-iron skillet to a medium brown. Tomatoes must be cooked soft; bread must be crunchy. Often, one sandwich isn't enough, which is why I don't splurge very often!
- Christopher Carroll, Stratford Patch: Having had five kids, grilled cheese was kind of a staple. It’s quick and easy. All it was with bread and butter till it’s almost burning and fry it in the pan. If you wanted to be really fancy you put some tomato on top.
- Sharon Bass, East Haven Patch: I do low fat. Get a heavy whole grain bread, reduced fat cheese, tomato slices and I cook it with Pam. That’s it.
- Leslie Hutchison, Cheshire Patch: I'm fond of grilled cheese in the panini style. I like it with sharp Vermont cheddar cheese, a couple slices of fresh tomato and spicy mustard. Yum!
- Jenn McCulloch, North Branford Patch: My favorite is wheat bread with shredded cheddar, avocado and bacon. Of course, paired with Ramen noodles!
- Nicole Ball, Branford Patch: Grilled cheese super melt! What to do with that quasi-interesting lunch meat? Slap it between two pieces of white bread, turkey and ham combo is recommended, then pile on the American cheese and add a slice of tomato. Butter both sides of the bread, and be sure to add butter to the pan. Heat over medium heat until all is gooey and ooey. Enjoy with a pickle and chips!
- Denise Buffa, Milford Patch: My favorite is the traditional grilled cheese -- white bread and American cheese with crispy bacon.
- Ben Lasman, North Haven: Easy. Keep the bread (I like rye, personally) you use for grilled cheese in the freezer until you're ready to make the sandwich. Take two pieces of frozen bread, butter both sides, fill up the middle of the sandwich with cheddar jack, then toss it into the skillet and press down on the whole thing with a spatula. Wait for both pieces of bread to turn a dark gold, then serve with mayo, hot sauce, and pickles if you've got them.
- Kate Ramunni, Hamden Patch: I like it on any bread but the sharpest cheddar possible and toasted open-face in the oven until it's about to get runny, nothing else on it but cheese.
- Gary Jeanfaivre, Patch Regional Editor: Grilled cheese with crispy bacon, and it’s gotta be Vermont sharp cheddar on a hearty bread like 12 grain or whole wheat. I like to dip it in soup, preferably chicken noodle or tomato. Now that’s comfort food at its finest.