Saturday, February 6, 2016

Dirty Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Take that, Wyatt. I started at age 4.

I have been planning to post some of my recipes, with some suggestions for our granddaughters.

When I learned that one of my best education students has a son who likes to cook, I decided to do a little writing on the topic.

I will tag these "Chef's Corner" so they are easy to group together in a label search. The label list is in the left column.

Dirty Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

These are dirty because I begin with a pan that was used to warm up grilled meat - leaving some beef juice behind - or to fry bacon, leaving bacon flavoring behind. The better the meat, the better the grilled cheese.

I always start with coconut oil, which we make a point of using daily. There are many good benefits of coconut oil, and we love the flavor. Also, it is stable at high temps, which means it does not smoke.

Add coconut oil to the residue in the pan and heat at medium on a gas stove.

Place bread on the new and old mixture. I usually keep the bread in the freezer, so I want it warming up fast.

The keys to good grilled cheese are quality cheese and bread, plus the melt.

Cut good cheese on the bread warming up. I have my favorites in the quality cheese area of Walmart - not in the massive hanging cheese displays, which often cost the same or a little more. I like their

  • Muenster - about $6 a pound.
  • Smoked Gouda - roughly the same per pound.

On the cheese I place a little bit of butter - for the flavor. I make butter last a long time. As I explained to the doctor, butter is a gateway drug for me. I eat more bread because of the butter, and never tire of eating more bread and butter, toast and butter, cinnamon sugar and toast and butter.

Reducing bread consumption, as suggested by Dr. Bandy, meant my weight dropped 7 pounds.

You can use good bread - Pepperidge Farm - or white bread. Do I have to write a jeremiad on cheap, white bread? Me, a born and bred baker?

I keep the temperature at medium and place the other bread on top. To hold in more heat for the melt, I place a metal pan lid on top of the bread. Soon smoke rises up, which means the bread is toasting, maybe even blackened. I love it blackened and I am in a hurry. Those who want to back off the burn will have to wait longer for the melt.

If your cheese is not liquefied at the end, your mission has failed.

Flip the sandwiches when the smoke forms the first time. Some chefs will turn down the burner a bit, but they will wait longer too. I keep mine at medium and expect black-brown on both sides.

Muenster and other cheeses will melt and drip onto the skillet. That will make a hissing sound - your sandwiches are done. If burning is a fear, turn it low or off at the end and let the heat penetrate.

You can follow the same directions for pristine grilled cheese sandwiches, but why not take advantage of a skillet that has been baconed or beefed up already?

That is the melt desired.

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