Grilled cheese sandwich. Cheese toastie. Toasted cheese sandwich. No matter what you call it, it’s an American staple.
The grilled cheese sandwich has been around in one form or another since the late 1920s. It’s predecessor, the cheese dream (sounds fancy, right?!?), was an open-faced cheese sandwich which became popular during the Great Depression. It evolved over time and by World War II, there were accounts of U.S. Navy cooks broiling “American cheese sandwiches” which were basically the modern-day grilled cheese.
While early versions of this popular sandwich were incredibly simple, you can now find grilled cheese sandwiches which range from simple to super fancy-schmancy. In fact, you can drop a cool $214 on the “Quintessential Grilled Cheese” at a popular New York City restaurant.
No need to drop that much cash for an elevated grilled cheese experience, though. Plan to get creative at home with five of our favorite ways to tszuj up your cheese toastie:
Mayo please! If you’ve not substituted mayonnaise for butter when making a grilled cheese, you’re missing out. Try making a flavored mayo by adding a pinch or two of a savory blend like Five Onion Dip Seasoning, Greek Seasoning, Herbed Poultry Seasoning or Truffled Parmesan Rub to a tablespoon or two of mayo. Spread liberally on the outside of your bread slices, then cook as normal.
Caprese, please(y). Try your hand at a Caprese Grilled Cheese. Butter and place your bottom slice of bread in the pan. Top with shredded or sliced mozzarella cheese, sliced tomatoes, and fresh basil (or a drizzle of our Basil Infused Olive Oil). Drizzle with Traditional Balsamic Vinegar or Riserva Di Balsamico. Add your top slice of bread, butter-side up and cook as normal.
Simple spread. Add a layer of pesto – Delicious & Son’s Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Rosso or Basil Pesto Genovese on the inside of the top slice of bread. Crave something more unique? Try the Delicious & Son’s Artichoke Spread, Eggplant Spread, or Porcini Mushroom Spread.
Garlic toastie! Garlic bread grilled cheese is amazing! Start with thick-sliced bread like Texas Toast. Butter the outsides as normal and season with Garlic Salt. Cook normally and enjoy.
Nacho (grilled) cheese. Butter regular white bread as you would for a normal grilled cheese. Use a slice of Monterey jack and one slice of cheddar cheese. Add a layer of mayonnaise seasoned with a dash or two of Taco Seasoning Blend and some pickled jalapenos. Lastly, crunch up corn chips and add as a layer. Cook normally and enjoy.
Need some local inspiration? Swing by Des Moines’ Cheese Shop or Cheese Bar and try one of their tasty grilled cheese options. What’s your favorite way to enjoy a grilled cheese? Share with us in the comments!