Who would have thought you could improve on something so delicious - that you likely learned to cook early in life? 

When the book, “Grilled Cheese, Please! 50 Scrumptiously Cheesy Recipes” by Laura Werlin landed in my lap unexpectedly ... I read it cover to cover.  And I’m so excited to share ... it’s so cool!

The author quickly shares her foolproof tips to make the “best” grilled cheese ... Here’s some of her tips:

  1. -Grate the cheese ... buy the block of cheese, not the shredded bag

  1. -Thick cheese and thin bread ... thick bread will never achieve the crackly, crisp texture that defines a grilled cheese

  1. -Spread the bread, not the pan ... butter the bread (she suggests salted butter), olive oil and sometimes mayo for a golden crispy distinction, and don’t melt or put additional butter in the pan

  1. -Stick with nonstick (mostly) ... she also uses the grill, a panini press, etc., but avoids cast iron

  1. -Cover it ... yes, with a lid ... by covering the sandwich during most of the cooking process you’re ensuring that every strand of cheese will melt long before the bread has a chance to burn

  1. -Flatten slightly ... press down on the sandwich with your spatula after you’ve flipped it

  1. -Go low and slow ... if the heat is too high, your bread will burn before the cheese has a chance to melt ... use medium heat and take 2 - 3 extra minutes

  1. -Cool it, then eat it ... by waiting 5 minutes for the sandwich to cool, the flavors will brighten and have more taste

So ... What are some good cheeses to use?  Here’s her list of “Easy To Find Melters”:

  1. -American Cheese, white or yellow/orange

  2. -Asiago, fresh, not aged

  3. -Cheddar

  4. -Colby

  5. -Colby-Jack

  6. -Fontina

  7. -Gouda

  8. -Gruyere

  9. -Havarti

  10. -Monterey Jack

  11. -Mozzarella

  12. -Provolone, mild or medium

  13. -Swiss, including Jarlsberg

  14. -Velveeta (no recipes in her book include Velveeta)

Her book is such a wonderful reference tool if you’re not familiar with all the cheeses on the market ... she has 3-4 more lists of cheeses and where they fall in relevance to their melting ability and taste.

And not to mention - there are suggestions on bread types and their names and where to find them!  And don’t forget to store your bread in the freezer for a longer shelf life.

And then of course, the 50 included recipes give you all sorts of ideas on adding fruits, meats, veggies and so forth.

Warning ... there are a few pictures that will make your mouth water ... do not read this book when you are hungry!

Ok ... this was not an actual recipe featured in her book ... but it uses (and illustrates) her techniques.  Once you get the basics down - you’re on your way to creating something exceptional!

I’m already sold on the idea of grating my own cheese, I covered that in a post I did on Cheese Crackers (here).  I include my findings on buying cheese at the grocery store versus a warehouse club - I’m still sold on the cost savings.

And I am certainly a believer in mixing butter with mayonnaise for a crazy-good taste ... Check out Crusty Parmesan Bread (here).

So here’s what I did ... I grated 3 cheeses that I had on hand ... Jarlsberg, Fontina and Manchego.

I mixed the cheeses in a bowl with a tablespoon or so of softened butter.  This is really key ... and makes using the grated cheese incredibly easy, not to mention out-of-this-world delicious.

I spread the cooking side of both pieces of bread with a layer of butter and a thin layer of mayonnaise.

And built my sandwich with the mixture of cheese and butter in the middle of the prepared bread. 

And then I gently laid my sandwich into a warm skillet, over medium heat ... and placed a lid on to cover.

I cooked the sandwich “low and slow”, flattening it after flipping it.  And I flipped (or turned) the sandwich more than once - keeping it covered as much as possible.

When it was done, I removed it to a cutting board to cool and then cut in half to eat!

So filling and satisfying - you’ll probably find you won’t be able to eat the whole thing!

And ... because Eric is more of a traditionalist in his grilled cheese ... I made his with American Cheese (slices) - and kept with the techniques above (minus the grating of the cheese) ... using butter and mayonnaise to prepare the bread.

So if you’re into grilled cheese ... I think you’ll have fun with this book or any other resource that takes their grilled cheese seriously!