Actually Grilled Cheese

February 14, 2011

Last week was COLD. Seriously cold. Daily highs of 6 degrees cold. This weather is not conducive to anything except for staying inside and cooking.

Still, Will and I went to a basketball game with some of our friends. And the walk home had a wind chill of -25. NEGATIVE 25! Have you even heard of that?? I hadn’t. But now I’ve lived it and let me tell you first hand, it’s just as you expect.

All the bitter cold led Will and me to crave one particular meal. Grilled cheese and tomato soup. I don’t know who first paired these foods together, but I would like to personally give them a hug. A really big bear hug.

I googled grilled cheese recipes for a while to see if anyone had any earth-shattering revelations about how to make grilled cheese. And what do you know, Mark Bittman did. He suggests making grilled cheese ON THE GRILL.

It’s brillant. Just brillant. The bread gets really crispy, the cheese gets really melt-y, and to top if all off you use much less fat.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but this past summer, I actually won an indoor electric grill in a hospital raffle. Though the food it produces cannot compare to the charcoal-laced flavor of a real grill, it’s a pretty good substitute when, for instance, there is a windchill of -25 degrees. So that’s how I made it.

I know you’re probably thinking that this grilled cheese is as transcendent as it gets. Bitter cold weather, warm tomato soup, actually grilled… but there’s one more thing that made it even better. Will’s parents gifted us with Edmond Fallot mustards (among other delicious treats imported from France) over Christmas. The dijon was so tangy and so perfect for this perfect winter meal.

Get the recipe for my Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup here

ACTUALLY GRILLED CHEESE (adapted for the electric grill from Mark Bittman’s Actually Grilled Cheese)


Sliced bread (I used ciabatta)

Cheese (I used gruyere)

Mustard (I used Edmond Fallot Dijon)

Olive oil or melted butter, for brushing


If using a gas grill, turn heat to low. If using an electric grill, turn heat to medium high. Take 2 slices bread. Brush one side or each piece with mustard, and brush the other side of each piece with olive oil. Sandwich cheese between mustard-brushed side of bread. Place sandwich on grill. Place a heavy plate, then a weight (like a large can) on top of sandwich to weight it down and give it a panini-type effect. Check bread every few minutes, flip when lightly browned and crispy and return plate and weight to sandwich. The sandwich is finished when both sides are browned and crispy. Serve with warm tomato soup, and maybe some green olives too.

Turn the heat on the grill to medium high.


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