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Quick weeknight dinner: grilled cheese sandwich

Posted in Food & Entertaining

Do you ever have those days when dinner is the farthest thing from your mind and yet there are expectant mouths? When you would happily resort to Netflix and a bowl of cereal but others are not into breakfast for dinner? I don’t want to give you the impression I cook every night because I don’t. I often leave my family to fend for themselves, and they oblige.

But on days when I don’t feel like cooking and I experience guilt at not providing anything homemade, I have a series of extra fast crowd pleasers (if not exactly health pleasers). Grilled cheese sandwiches is one of those standards. Who doesn’t like grilled cheese sandwiches?

A few years ago, in LA, we went through the grilled cheese sandwich craze: fancy restaurants would have grilled cheese nights, with sandwiches made with artisanal breads and exotic cheeses. It was rather ridiculous to pay $15 for two slices of bread with some cheese inside but the craze meant that the grilled cheese sandwich was elevated from WonderBread and cheddar slices to something worth piling the calories for.

The bread needs to be properly grilled and the secret is mayo, not butter. If you have never tried it, heed my advice just this once. It will not disappoint.

Start with country bread, medium sliced. Spread a bit of mayo on one side. While you do that, heat a cast iron pan or a griddle on the stove, on high heat Once the pan is hot, put the bread in, mayo side down. Keep the heat med/high. Check after a few minutes and you will see the bread browning nicely. Spread a bit of mayo on the top side before turning.

After a couple of minutes, I start adding the cheese. What kind of cheese is entirely up to your taste: grate it or cut it into small chunks and pile it on – a few nights ago I happened to use rosemary asiago.

If the cheese is not too pungent and needs some kick, oregano and chili flakes do a nice job.

Serve open-faced with a salad on the side.

 

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14 Comments

  1. Mayo, huh? I’ll have to give that a try. And by mayo I presume you’re not talking about Miracle Whip. 😉

    September 17, 2017
    |Reply
    • No… I don’t think I have ever tasted Miracle Whip…

      September 19, 2017
      |Reply
  2. Mayo? It would never have occurred to me! I’ve been completely addicted to grilled “cheese” sandwiches lately. That’s vegan cheese, a cheddar mock that melts and tastes amazing. I add tomato, thin slices of onion and some parsley, and it’s heaven. I’m travelling soon and where I’m going there’s probably not much as far as vegetarian (not to mention vegan) food goes, so I might have to bring some fake cheese with me and live off grilled “sammiches” for 7 days 🙂

    September 15, 2017
    |Reply
    • I am getting used to vegan cheese more and more.

      September 19, 2017
      |Reply
      • Had some regular cheese whilst on holiday. It didn’t go well, my nose got all clogged and I had cold-like symptoms! I hope one day they come up with an amazing vegan version of Camembert 😩

        September 30, 2017
        |Reply
  3. Ellie
    Ellie

    Will definitely make your version !! Love the Mayo touch – and I don’t even have to try it first !!
    Ode to the Toasted Cheese Sandwich – yours and 3 other versions – the classic Welsh Rarebit I grew up with, the exquisite Croque Monsieur, and thirdly the melt- in-the-mouth, oozing-with-cheese, toasted sandwiches eaten as an ‘after-gig-tradition’ in a bar off Corso BAires, Milan………just delicious !!!

    September 15, 2017
    |Reply
    • Do you remember Panino Giusto? Does it still exist?? Love Welsh Rarebit.

      September 19, 2017
      |Reply
  4. Sani non so, appetitosi molto 🙂

    September 15, 2017
    |Reply
    • I don’t guilt about myself…I just take out the cereal…

      September 19, 2017
      |Reply
  5. Winston Moreton
    Winston Moreton

    In my house we have a toastie iron to turn out those sandwiches . We temper the carbo effect with slices of tomato and if I’m on my own onion.

    September 14, 2017
    |Reply
    • I lived for years on baguette, cheese and tomatoes..

      September 19, 2017
      |Reply

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