13 April 2012

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Advisory Service

~  Menu  ~

Cheddar & Green Chilli “Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Secret Red

Two nations divided by a common language! 

There is a strong American influence in the Caribbean, even in the British Virgin Islands, and when I was first there I was sometimes discombombulated by the American usage of English words.  A lot of this confusion was quite fun eg.

“I shall be with you momentarily”
I’m afraid I shall need you for longer than that!”

... plus much giggling about the word fanny etc. but in the kitchen it could be a problem.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich is a case in point ~ did you rather suspect it would be?  

In England when we say "grill" as a verb we mainly mean cooking something, often toast, under our eye level grill (noun) on our cooker.   To Americans this verb usually means to cook over the source of heat as in a BBQ.  So far as they are concerned we broil our toast.  And therefore a grilled cheese sandwich is …?  Yes, it’s fried which was quite a surprise for me the first time one was ordered.  I suppose this is from the word griddled.

A traditional American Grilled Cheese Sandwich comprises two slices of sliced white bread filled with slices of processed "cheese" which is rubbery and yuk but melts well.  The outside of the sandwich is buttered and it is cooked in a hot pan till the outside is crispy and the inside is melty.  It is a good idea which lends itself to huge improvement particularly in the cheese department but also by using good bread and adding complimentary ingredients.

Mayonnaise is a great addition to a grilled cheese sandwich, spread both inside. See here for an interesting article about cooking with mayonnaise.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich ~ Method

~  Make a cheese sandwich – grated cheese melts quicker and more evenly than sliced.
~  Spread the outside of the sarnie with butter.
~  Heat a dry frying pan.
~  Lay the sandwich in the pan, cover the pan and turn down the heat.  Cook for a few minutes till the first side is crisp and golden and the inside starting to melt.
~  Turn the sandwich and cook the second side uncovered so that the first crispy side stays crisp.  

For my standard Grilled Cheese Sarnie I spread the insides of the sandwith with mayonnaise and also with a scraping of Patak's excellent Chilli Pickle.  I use grated Davidstow Cornish Crackler Cheddar and I don’t usually butter the outside of the sandwich but rather I dry fry it in a futile attempt to lose weight.

For my non-standard grilled cheese sandwiches I use all manner of things and, of course, they are perfect vehicles for leftovers.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Ideas

~  Goat cheese and parma ham
~  Blue cheese and pear – on walnut bread if poss
~  Brie, crispy bacon and a little cranberry sauce
~  Cheddar and ham
~  Mozzarella, tomato and pesto or fresh basil
~  Roasted veggies and Feta
~  Gruyère and sautéed mushrooms
~  Blue cheese & black garlic.
~  Gruyère and caramelised onions – a kind of French Onion (Soup) Sandwich, maybe serve it with some dipping gravy!  
~  Add chutney, pesto, mayonnaise, pickle, sauces etc.
~  Use different breads.
~  If buttering the outside of the sandwich use different flavoured butters such as garlic butter, black pepper butter etc.  See here for lots of different butter ideas.

Incidentally American cookers have their grills/broilers underneath the oven at ground level.  I asked an American friend why this is and he said because they like to watch their wives bend over in the morning!

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