Grilled Cheese: Italian Whole Grain x Beemster XO x Gorgonzola Butter

Grilled Cheese is an American culinary classic and something that everyone has had. The way you had it as a kid will always have sweet memories. But everyone has to grow up sometimes. As a 21-year-old man I generally speak for all men when I say, we love a good sandwich. Unlike the times before us, I don’t expect anyone to get me a sandwich because I am my own best sandwich maker! It is not uncommon for someone to make the joke of having a woman “fetch” them (a man, although not in manners) a sandwich.

I, on the contrary, insist everyone get the fuck out of my kitchen when I am making a sandwich because I need complete concentration. Many a time, I have spent a Saturday making a pressed sandwich with 15 or 16 layers of meats, cheese and vegetables for my fraternity brothers to consumer in a hangover stupor with little regard for the layers of flavor and things they are enjoying, but a grilled cheese is a classic that everyone can make and the simplicity allows for flavors to be bolstered.

Last weekend, I made a grilled cheese. I used butter and bread and cheese and some tomatoes, but everything I used was better quality. I don’t use better quality to establish some sort of hierarchy, rather I use better quality because I recognize the addicting sensation of flavor. White bread is simply bread and to that, there is no variety. I see bleached flour, gummy dough, preservatives and an unknown myriad of additives which adulterate the word “bread”. American Cheese is not cheese, it’s a dairy product that looks like cheese but it is not cheese. Butter… ok that’s not hard to fuck up, hell, even margarine will do for a grilled cheese but there is always a way to make it better. I made my grilled cheese better.

The bread is an Organic Italian Load with whole grains and made by a baker which is clear by the yeasty smell, the meticulously made design on the top of the loaf and the flour stuck to the bottom where the bread was placed on a peel to prevent sticking. Besmear XO is a type of Gouda Cheese that is recognizable by its bright orange interior, crunchy texture and sweet, toffee-like flavor. Hailing from northern Holland, this 2-year aged cheese defies American cheese’s monopoly on grilled cheese to make a sandwich that is 10, if not, a 100 fold better sandwich. Butter is an important key to making a grilled cheese sandwich. Traditionally only the outside is buttered, but I don’t do that.

I use Mayo on the outside because I like the crunch better and it doesn’t make the sandwich oily which to me a big problem because greasy hands are not attractive or delicious. Do not be afraid or intimidated by mayo-ing the outside of your grilled cheese, just put enough on to cover it, not too much and not too little. I do butter the inside, but only the side of the sandwich that has cheese. Why? Because personally I almost always add tomato. I just like it that way, but you can really add whatever you want, it doesn’t matter and is beside the point. A grilled cheese with just cheese is for children, adults need a real sandwich so add something to your cheese like tomatoes or herbs, even deli meat or bacon is acceptable. I chose not to add meat because the Beemster is already rather salty and the butter I lightly spread inside the sandwich is half butter and half gorgonzola.

Wait… What? Did you just read that a mixture of 50/50 butter and gorgonzola was spread on the inside of the grilled cheese but only on the side of the cheese?! Yes, you did, and here’s why I did it. My roommate worked for a cheesemonger so our fridge is pretty much stacked with dope cheese and he had some gorgonzola that he wanted to get rid of so I grabbed a nob and mixed it with the butter and spread it on the inside. The reason I butter the inside is because the butter (WHICH MUST BE UNSALTED!) mixes with the salty cheese and makes everything 100 times better. Salt has a fine line between too much and too little and when you find the perfect amount it enhances the flavor of almost anything around it. So, butter, salt, cheese, combine, delicious. Get it? Got it, good!

Assemble your sandwich and griddle on a cast iron pan on medium low heat. Do not put on high you fudging moron! it will burn, not cook faster! You would be surprised how often I see people cook a grilled cheese on high heat and then are confused why the outside is burned and the inside is not cooked. Low and slow dingus, low and slow. Let it cook on medium low for 5-8 minutes and check to make sure it has browned. It should not be black (unless you want it that way, sometimes I like mine crispy, whatever). After about 8 minutes you should flip it and keep for another 5 minutes until that side is browned but not black. It should easily be picked up with a spatula and not be limp or soft, i.e, it should be crispy. flip it over again but put it on your cutting board and let it sit and rest for a second because its gonna be too hot. After it has had time to let some steam go, cut it in half. The inside should be gooey and melty. The side with the tomatoes (look at the one I made above) is going to be a little moist, but not wet, and the side with the cheese should also be moist, but not wet. That side will be very creamy and buttery which everyone likes. If you have a problem with a little butter, don’t use it, but honestly, nobody has ever complained.

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In summation, grilled cheese is a staple in any young man’s recipe repertoire and he should know how to make it. Ladies, don’t let your man joke about making him a sandwich. You are a strong independent woman who only needs love from this grilled cheese so if he asks for a grilled cheese and is acting like an ass, I say dump him. I’ll make YOU a grilled cheese! or better yet, you can make yourself one and forget he exists. At the end of the day, all you need is a grilled cheese… I’m pretty sure Paul McCartney said that… pretty sure. Remember, it’s not rocket science, its food porn, bruh.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Joshua says:

    Good stuff, I love the humble grilled cheese and always looking for different variances to try with it. Definitely one of my favorite comfort foods.

    Like

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