Great Combo!

National Grilled Cheese Month meets National Sourdough Bread Day. This is no April Fools Day joke. National Grilled Cheese Month meets National Sourdough Bread Day! Who doesn’t love a great grilled cheese sandwich?!?

Enjoy it plain. Add a fried egg and a slice of fresh tomato for breakfast. Layer cheese with ham and thinly sliced veggies for lunch (or add some sliced apples, too). Add a sprinkle of crisply fried onions and bacon to a grilled cheese anytime.

The one absolute requirement is good melting cheese. Some firm or semi-firm cheeses simply do not melt naturally, which makes them tough to use in a great grilled cheese sandwich. Be careful with cheeses such as queso fresco, feta, or even semi-soft goat cheese. When using Swiss or Cheddar cheeses, I like to also add layers of Muenster (my go-to fave), Brie, Monterey Jack, or Pepperjack. These boost the creamy meltiness. (Okay… use American if you absolutely must, but do so with awareness that it is actually a processed food that contains cheese.)

For bread use anything from pita pockets or burger buns to hearty rye, but being National Sourdough Bread Day, let’s opt for one of those loaves straight out of your favorite deli. Because sourdough is firm and hearty, and we want our cheese to melt nicely, cut slices to just ½”. Spread mayonnaise on one side of both slices and layer your cheese and other ingredients on one slice before topping with the other, keeping the mayo sides inside. Then spread the outside of the top slice with mayonnaise before placing, mayo side down in melted butter over low heat. (Okay, I will admit to you that I sometimes replace the melted butter with my bacon renderings! Wowza!!!)

After the sandwich is in the pan, spread the slice that is now on top with mayonnaise and cover the pan for 2-3 minutes. (If you typically spread butter on the outside of your sandwich, give mayonnaise a try. You may never go back! Low heat is important, as the mayo gives a delightful crunchiness to the sandwich, but it can brown more quickly than butter.) Covering your sandwich initially captures the heat and lets the cheese melting process happen more easily.

Remove the lid and use a large spatula to turn your sandwich over. Leave the pan uncovered for another 2-3 minutes to turn the bottle crispy golden before serving to your happy taste buds. Here’s a Super Simple tip: Serve with a hearty bowl of fresh tomato basil soup for dipping or sandwich at lunch… or cut your sandwiches into 3 strips and serve with the soup with beverages for Happy Hour.

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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