Gooey melted cheese enveloped in buttery toasted bread - so simple, yet so comforting. No wonder grilled cheese is one of the most popular sandwiches in many parts of the globe.
According to How Stuff Works, recipes somewhat similar to grilled cheese sandwiches were found in Ancient Roman texts. Cookbooks published in the early 1900's reportedly called it "Melted Cheese," "Toasted Cheese," or "Toasted Sandwich." A century later, grilled cheese is still well-loved by people of all ages.
April is hailed as the National Grilled Cheese Month and before it ends, we're listing some of the most mouth-watering recipes involving melted cheese and bread.
Kevin Lynch of Closet Cooking has a good recipe for a basic, classic grilled cheese sandwich that can turn anyone into a grilled cheese chef!
The Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich (from Closet Cooking)
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
2 slices bread, day old
3 ounces cheese, grated/shredded, room temperature
Lynch gives great tips and instructions on how to get that golden brown grilled cheese goodness everyone adores.
For those looking for a twist on the regular grilled cheese, Foxes Love Lemons has a recipe for a gourmet sandwich that fuses the flavors of cheese with the fresh earthy flavors of mushrooms and asparagus.
Mushroom Duxelles & Asparagus Grilled Cheese
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 shallots, peeled and halved
12 ounces button mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp towel; halved
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Gallo Family Vineyards Pinot Grigio
1 tablespoon heavy cream
12 medium asparagus spears, ends trimmed; cut crosswise in half
Nonstick cooking spray
8 slices crusty bread
8 ounces Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced
Another meat-free gourmet grilled cheese is the Roasted Sweet Potato & Fig Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Reduction by Cara of Big Girl Small Kitchen.
According to Cara, this sandwich was inspired by a Middle Eastern salad with roasted sweet potatoes, figs, balsamic vinegar reduced to a syrup, and feta. Being a grilled cheese lover, she translated the flavors of the salad into a sandwich.
If you like the combination of sweet and savory in Cara's recipe, you'll also love Grilled Cheese with Apples and Bacon by Alaska from Scratch. The tartness of the apples and the toasted meaty flavor of the bacon complements the melted cheese and the subtle spice from the mustard.
Grilled Cheese with Apples and Bacon (from Alaska From Scratch)
2 slices sourdough bread
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 teaspoons grainy mustard
2 big slices medium or sharp cheddar cheese
4 thin slices tart green apples
2 bacon slices, crisp cooked
TIP: If you prefer to bake your grilled cheese sandwiches instead of grilling them on a pan, using a silicone baking mat will help make cleaning up a lot easier.