Grilled cheese is an iconic comfort food. There is something about toasty bread encasing warm, melty cheese that makes the perfect meal. But the traditional sandwich of white bread and American cheese, while delicious, is not the end-all-be-all of the grilled cheese. This year, celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month by playing with some of these fun alternatives to the classic grilled cheese sandwich.
Sliced white bread may be classic, but it doesn’t necessarily make the best sandwich. Try freshly baked bread (from a bakery or homemade) for a whole new grilled cheese experience, or go totally off the rails and try English muffins, rolls, or even waffles. You could even kick up the flavor by using savory or sweet flavored bread options, like garlic bread or cinnamon swirl bread.
Play with the butter options, including not using butter at all. Many people opt for mayo instead, and you could even whip up your own homemade mayo with olive oil and spices for some extra oomph. Simply spread it on the bread like you would butter and it will brown the same way. If you’re not willing to give up butter, you could still jazz up the grilled cheese by adding butter to both sides of the bread, or by adding butter to the inside and mayo to the outside of each slice.
There is a big, wide world of cheese out there, so try out something other than the classic American. Stick to cheeses that melt, but go out on a flavor limb with Gruyeres, cheddars, and jacks. There are also many amazing Italian cheeses to try, with mozzarella being one of the meltiest. You can even do multiple types of cheese in the same sandwich, and mixing a melty cheese with a fresh or aged one is a great way to incorporate flavors from cheeses that don’t melt. While cheese is the star, don’t go overboard. Most grilled cheese sandwiches only need about 1/3 cup of cheese – any more and they overflow in the pan.
Many people add relish to their classic grilled cheese. Bacon or ham and sliced tomatoes are also common choices, but you don’t have to stop there. Take inspiration from those and make it something new. Sauteed mushroom and onion; thinly sliced peppers, avocado, or apples; and even an olive tapenade could be delicious paired with the right cheese. Just be careful not to overwhelm the cheese with all of those additions.
LET BASTA PASTA TREAT YOU!
For more than 12 years, Basta Pasta has given Maryland diners delicious Italian food from local and fresh ingredients. Enjoy delicious pasta dishes, unlimited salad and breadsticks, and fine wine at one of our locations in Timonium, Fallston, Perry Hall, or Eldersburg. Contact us online or give us a call at the location-specific phone number listed here. Read our menu and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter! If you don’t feel like going out, order our signature crab cakes online and enjoy delicious Basta Pasta from home!