• Alfaro’s Microbakery
  • Beckman’s
  • Grace Baking (Esp. Garlic-Rosemary)
  • Soli’s European-Style Breads (Dutch Crunch Rolls)
    h2. Cheese
  • Jack
  • Cheddar
  • Swiss (only for Nick)
  • Pepper Jack
  • Muenster
  • Brie
  • Blue (only in combination)
  • Mozzarella
    h2. Filling
  • Olive/mayo paste
    • plus pepperoncini
    • plus horseradish
      h2. Butter
  • European style
  • Whipped butter
    h2. Spices
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • Cayenne
  • Ground pepper
  • Garlic powder
    h2. Basic Walkthrough
    While I’ve done a lot of different things with grilled cheese over the years, here’s a basic walk-through:
    Start with good bread; a rustic white or a sourdough batard are good choices; slice to around .5-1” thick, or maybe a bit thicker, depending on texture; the goal is to give the sandwhich structure and make sure you can really taste the bread, but be careful not to cut so thick that cooking (or biting) is impeded. If you want to go the pre-sliced route, I suggest Alfaro’s Micro-Bakery or Beckman’s.
    Butter the bread with soft butter, and sprinkle the butter with spices: cayenne, garlic powder (or actual garlic, if you have it), pepper (my favorite use of pepper involves taking whole pepper corns and, rather than grinding the, crushing them with the flat of a heavy knife, or working them mover lightly in a mortar and pestle, the idea being to retain substantial chunks), or Montreal Steak Seasoning.
    Make sure your pan, press, or other heating implement is hot.
    Cheese is an arena where I’m not inclined to dictate, not because it’s not vital, but because there are so many good choices; much is up to whim, or depends on the other elements of the sandwich. I mean, I like swiss, but practically no one else in the world does. But yes, better cheese produces better results, and softer cheese melts faster, so if you do use a hard cheese, take that into account.
    Not every grilled cheese requires a filling, but the canonical sandwich in my kitchen is filled with a mayo-and-chopped-olive paste, ideally also containing some horseradish, and possibly some slices pepperoncini.
    Other options include sauteed mushrooms (always a good choice), or, once, sour cream and cranberry sauce. (Seriously, it was great.)