One of God’s great gifts to the human race is the gift of cheese.  Cheese is so beautiful it should be a runway model for Victoria’s Secret.  Putting cheese between bread and then slightly toasting it in a pan; now that is brilliant.  May God grant eternal blessings to whoever was the first to endeavor such a great and mighty act.

The perfect grilled cheese involves at least three different types of cheese.  The first is a slice of plain American cheese out of the wrapper.  This forms the traditional base.  I’m not a big fan of this particular kind of mass produced cheese; but it is necessary for establishing the boundaries.  After this, a much thicker slice of cheddar—preferably a sharp cheddar but medium will do.  It is this which will produce the gooey features of the grilled cheese we all love so much. 

These, to me, are the two mandatory types of cheese, but the third is all about preference and it is the third slice which will give your sandwich your own desired flavor.  Some people, like me, may want to zing their sandwich with some bite.  For this, I suggest a nice gorgonzola or even a little brie.  I have tried both and like both.  Crumbled bleu cheese works well too. 

For those not wanting bite but prefer a smooth, finished flavor there are two standby options.  You can go with either a mild havarti or a gouda; smoked gouda if you like (who doesn’t?)  If you go with the gouda you will extend the gooey factor for your sandwich exponentially.  Some people like to use swiss, provolone, or mozzarella for this third cheese.  Go ahead if you like, but I found all these rather boring.

Please be advised that any form of fake cheese—cheese whiz, cheese sauce, or Velveeta destroys the moral structure of the grilled cheese.  Anyone who uses such products can no longer be considered human.  It is also important that you resist the urge to add a fourth cheese.  This has been tried before; and always with devastating results.  Three is the magic number; four or more spells doom to the integrity of the endeavor.

Use whatever bread you like; Greenbeans mostly use wheat but in splurge moments—sourdough baby!  Lightly butter and put butter side down on a skillet with upper medium heat—turned to 7 or 8 on a dial.  On the unbuttered side stack the cheese in the order listed above—1, 2, 3 and then lightly butter another slice of bread and place on top of the sandwich, butter side up (it is important that the butter side is always the other part).  Cook for about 3-6 minutes, then flip.  You may need to flip it several times to keep from burning the sandwich and to get the non-soggy consistency that makes it yummy.

There are a host of grilled cheese sandwich sides.  An old favorite is tomato soup, especially when it is frosty outside.  Cheese nips would go well with that pairing.  I recommend a large dill pickle, a teaspoon of Miracle Whip to dip my sandwich in, sliced carrots and a bit of onion on the side.  Perfect!


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