The Secret to the Best Grilled Cheese

Photo credit Mariha-kitchen

Today is National Grilled Cheese Day. And you can tell by the fact that every word in the name is capitalized that it is a very serious holiday. Even if you are no great fan of fake food holidays, you should admit that there are few foods as simple and perfect as a grilled cheese sandwich. How many meals work just as well for a 5-year-old as they do for a 50-year-old.

And there are a few components that every good grilled cheese should have:

The Best Bread

This is the one time there is absolutely no reason to use anything but boring old white bread. Just make sure you can get it sliced nice and thick so you really have something to bite into.

The Best Cheese

Use your aged cheddar and gruyére sparingly. Hard cheese tastes good, but something that really melts well is of paramount importance here. Don’t think you’re too fancy for some good old-fashioned American cheese. Nothing melts and stretches quite like it. If you do want something a little nicer grab some fontina or some Port Salut.

The Secret to a Perfect, Golden Brown Grilled Cheese

There’s one more thing you need to make a grilled cheese the right way and that is mayonnaise. Why? Not only does it spread better than butter, but doesn’t burn as easily. Spread a thick layer of mayo on the outside of both pieces of bread—mayo is not a condiment, it’s an outer coating—before you put it in the pan. Then hit that thing with medium-high heat for about two minutes on each side and you have the sort of thick, golden crust that is the mark of a truly ideal grilled cheese sandwich.

So get grilling and go eat up. Happy grilled cheese day!