Really Good Grilled Cheese
Serving size: one sandwich.
Cook time: 15-30 minutes (depending on stove, prep time, your own patience, etc.)
- 2 slices French bread (whole wheat and white are acceptable substitutes)
- Butter or margerine spread (either works, use your favorite)
- Shredded Parmesean cheese
- 1 slice provolone cheese (for best results, use smoked provolone)
- Shredded cheddar cheese (I prefer sharp cheddar)
- Garlic salt
- Black pepper
- Butter one side of your bread slices. Make sure to coat them well; this protects the bread from burning in the pan.
- Apply garlic salt to buttered bread. You want just enough on there to see it, but not so much that all you can taste is salt.
- Press Parmesean cheese onto the butter. Make sure it's a decent coating; again, this protects the bread from burning, but it also adds a delicious cheesy crust. A thicker coating of cheese creates a gooey layer under the crust that's incredible to bite into.
- Sprinkle basil and black pepper on top to taste. Go light on the basil; it's a strong flavor and a little is plenty.
- Lay one slice of bread butter-side-down in a pan. Don't turn the heat on yet.
- Spread a thin layer of cheddar cheese on top of the bread. This melts the fastest out of all the cheeses used. It holds the sandwich together so you can flip it without sending bread flying.
- Place provolone slice on top of the cheddar.
- Spread more cheddar on top of the provolone. If you want, you can mix some more Parmesean into this layer; just make sure that there's enough cheddar to hold the sandwich together.
- Place remaining bread on top, butter-side-out. If you want a flatter sandwich, give it a press with a spatula to compress the bread.
- Turn the heat on low. "Low and slow" is the key to making the cheese melt before the bread burns.
- If you want the cheese to melt faster, put a lid on your pan, but be warned that this speeds cooking up significantly. Watch that pan like it's about to catch fire if you use a lid. The sandwich will burn before you know it.
This recipe is also delicious as a turkey melt. Add sliced deli turkey on top of the provolone for best results. If you'd like, you can also replace the basil with an Italian seasoning mix to highlight the turkey. Pepperoni is also a nice addition.