Gourmet Grilled Cheese - This is a cheese lovers grilled cheese sandwich. Crispy cheesy toast, that mayo zing, and all the melty goodness, this one has it all!
Nothing quite like a toasty gourmet grilled cheese sandwich for when the leaves are starting to turn, and the cooler winds of autumn are blowing. This is a "purists" grilled cheese, lots of cheese, both the imported goodness inside, and a crispy parmesan crust.
This is the natural partner for our tomato and bacon soup, both to have alongside, or for dipping, like I love to do!
- Mayonnaise - this ingredient really gives the sandwich a little "zing" that you just can't get otherwise, as well as it holds the shredded cheese on the outside for that crispy crust
- Butter - unsalted
- Bread - as with any sandwich, the bread is what really makes it special. we used a French whole wheat boule from our local bakery. find a thick cut, crusty on the outside, but still soft in the middle, artisan product.
- Cheeses - use any kinds of cheeses that you would like, as long as they are easily melted. we used several kinds:
Our Choice of Cheeses
- Gruyere - The legendary French melting cheese. Picture a sharper version of Swiss. Most often associated with the traditional topper for French onion soup.
- Cotswold - Defined as a double Gloucester with spring onions and chives added. It's flavor is like a slightly more buttery cheddar.
- Gorgonzola - A mild blue from Italy. One of the few blue cheeses that melts really well, and is a favorite of many people who typically don't care for blue.
- Irish Aged White Cheddar - A tangy and salty cheddar, the Irish variety has a tendency to melt well, being a little less dry than the English.
- Quesadilla - This is the traditional Mexican cheese used for melting, especially in, you guessed it, quesadillas! Super mild and stretchy, if you can't find it, low moisture mozzarella is a perfect substitute.
- Parmigiana Reggiano - The king of hard aged cheeses. Get the real deal, with the printing on the rind. It is worth the extra price.
Check out Cheese.com for the best information on all things fromager!
See recipe card for quantities.
Prepare the Bread and Pan
Smear one side of each slice of bread with mayonnaise.
Melt the butter over medium low heat. See the hint and Chef Tip below for more about controlling the heat for best results.
Once the butter is melted and foaming, place both pieces of bread into the pan, mayo side up.
Sprinkle an even layer of the shredded Parmesan cheese on each slice.
Flip both slices over, and arrange the other cheeses on one of the slices.
Flip the other slice on top of the cheese stack. Notice that the Parm crust is melted, but not browned yet.
Turn the whole sandwich over once the crust is set on one side.
Once the cheese interior is well melted, remove, cut, and serve with Tomato and Bacon Soup, (notice the cheese melted out and into the pan, that's a sign of perfection!).
Even and steady heat is vital for this sandwich to come out best. You don't want the pan to lose heat too quickly when the bread is added, or when the sandwich is flipped. This will result in a soggy and greasy grilled cheese. For this reason we suggest using a cast iron or similar heavy bottomed skillet.
Not having tried this recipe with vegan cheeses or mayo, we cannot suggest using those. If anyone has tried and had success in this area, please provide your suggestions in the comments below.
Gluten Free - Using a gluten free bread product of your choice will still make a delicious sandwich!
- Spicy - add some roasted green or red chilis to kick it up a bit
- Deluxe - as long as what you add isn't too moist, you can add just about anything to this, (caramelized onion, crisp bacon, prosciutto, fresh basil...).
- Kid friendly - this recipe will work beautifully if you switch out all of that "fancy" cheese with good ol' American!
By all means, the ingredients for this gourmet grilled cheese will store for quite some time, but this really is one of those "make it and eat it" kind of sandwiches. We strongly discourage leaving the finished product laying around for any longer than 10 minutes before serving and eating.
Controlling the heat in this recipe is really important. Make sure to pay close attention to the instructions concerning this in the recipe card. You're cooking with whole butter, as well as using mayo and cheese in direct contact with the pan. All of these items can burn easily if heated too high, or get very greasy if not heated enough. Start low, and increase the heat as you go.
Gourmet Grilled Cheese
- 1 Cutting Board
- 1 Chef Knife
- 1 Offset spatula
- 1 Large heavy skillet
- 1 Butter knife
- 1 Bread knife
- 1 micro plane For grating the parmesan cheese
- 1 box grater For grating the other cheeses, however a knife works well for making slices.
- 2 Slices Artisanal Bread
- 3 oz cheese Blue cheese, Cheddar, Swiss, Quesadilla cheese
- 2 tbsps. Mayonnaise
- 2 tbsps. Fine grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 tbsps., Butter Unsalted
- Slice the bread into two even thick slices.
- Slice and grate the cheeses before you start heating the skillet.
- Start heating the skillet over medium heat,
- Spread 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise onto one side of each slice of bread.
- Add half of the unsalted butter to the pan, let it melt, turn down the heat so it doesn't scorch.
- Place both pieces of bread in the pan mayonnaise side up, and sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese evenly over the mayonnaise (1 Tablespoon per side)
- Flip the bread slices over and arrange the other cheeses evenly across one slice of the bread.
- Place the other slice of bread on top of the slice with the cheese. With the parmesan mayonnaise side up. Add the remaining unsalted butter to the pan.
- After about 2 minutes on low heat flip the sandwich with the spatula being careful to keep both sides together.
- After an additional 2 minutes of cooking or when the cheeses are warm and melted. remove the sandwich from the pan, cut in half if you want! And enjoy!