From Steve Millard, Master Melter / Bleecker Store Director
Bread: Use either really good thick cut bread, like sourdough Pullman cut ½” thick. Or go the other end with really cheap sandwich bread.
Butter: Butter is paramount to a superb grilled cheese sandwich. I recommend Vermont Butter and Cheese sea salt butter. Let the butter sit at room temperature for at least an hour to soften. Spread an even coat of butter on the bread — not too much to make it greasy, and not too little to not even matter.
Cheese: Any cheese will melt, but not every cheese will make a delicious grilled cheese. Look for alpine-style, melting, cheddar styles – here are a few great ones. Generally speaking, blue cheeses do not make for good grilled cheese sandwiches. Hard, Grana-style cheeses will work as an added flavor, but should not be the main cheese. If you’re in a hurry, soft cheeses like Brie and any cheese that you first shred will take less time to melt.
Think in terms of flavor combinations and what sort of grilled cheese sandwich you want to make. You can add meats, vegetables, caramelized onions, roasted peppers, jams, relish, pickles, etc. to any grilled cheese.
Method: Cook on a flat surface. A panini press works the best at about 400 degrees. A flat surface griddle will also work – just use some weight (such as another pan) to press the sandwich on the griddle. Whether you’re using a press or a griddle, flip the sandwich half way to ensure even toasting. The bread should be adequately toasty and not greasy. Don’t rush the sandwich: 4-5 minutes will make for a sublime grilled cheese that will have wonderfully melted cheese and perfectly toasty bread.
Add-ons: Chips, tomato soup and a crisp, bubbly beverage. I love GuS Dry Soda — soda helps cleanse the pallet and make each bite the more enjoyable. Of course, beer is a perfect combination, I like a Pale Ale with a nice hoppy kick.