Day 276: Grilled Cheese

Let’s talk about grilled cheese sandwiches. Because there is far more to talk about than Kraft singles vs. the real thing.

Tonight I had a double header; I started out emceeing the launch of Read Alberta Magazines Month at Art Central, and then went to cook/teach at a private party until after midnight.

As I was leaving, Mike was making grilled cheese sandwiches for himself and W. Mike makes a pretty fantastic grilled cheese, but our friend J turned us on to a new trick that I think makes her an official Genius. (She should have a business card just like Wile E. Coyote; a plain one, that specifies only: genius.) Ready for it? She stirs grated Parmesan cheese into the softened butter before spreading it on the outside of the bread, creating an extra dimension of crusty cheesiness.


(Also a good idea when making grilled cheese: minced purple onion and tomato in the middle with old cheddar. Or a smear of sundried tomato pesto.)

I’m sure the biggest selling point of a grilled cheese for W is its ability to transport ketchup to his mouth. He would swig ketchup straight from the bottle, if we let him. Which is not surprising, considering the fact that it contains more sugar than ice cream does. So I’ve started cutting it with tomato paste, which is surprisingly sweet on its own, working my way to a 50:50 ratio. If you try this, make sure you keep your ketchup in the fridge (something I’ve never done – I can’t stand dipping a hot, crunchy-oozy grilled cheese into a puddle of cold ketchup) or one day you’ll discover a ketchup bottle inflated to double its size on the shelf, with a sort of tomatoey moonshine inside.


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10 comments on “Day 276: Grilled Cheese

  1. Dana
    October 3, 2008 at 6:04 am

    That parm trick is a good one! I, too, love grilled cheese and think that, like in your picture, it is essential to serve it with ketchup. Yum!

  2. Rebecca
    October 3, 2008 at 6:16 am

    I also love the parmesan cheese trick and use it when I make tuna melts. SO yummy!

  3. gwendolyn
    October 3, 2008 at 9:02 am

    I believe the world is totally divided into two parts: those who like ketchup from the fridge and those who don’t. I am definitely a fridge girl because I actually like the contrast of hot food with cold condiment. I know, I’m weird. It’s OK.
    : )

    Also, I am *totally* going to try that parmesan trick for my next grilled cheese! Mmmmm.

  4. robyn
    October 3, 2008 at 9:17 am

    We had grilled cheese last night too! We put garlic salt in the butter….not as fancy as parmesan, but I guess everyone has their own trick!

  5. maplesugar
    October 3, 2008 at 9:36 am

    mmmmm Grilled cheese – love the pamesan trick Thanks J and Thanks to you for sharing it!

    I laughed out loud at the tomato moonshine hehe. I volunteer with the foodbank and every once and awhile something will get smushed in transport to the warehouse (or is perishable)and either slowly leak or balloon to twice it’s normal size usually a tetra of juice – sometimes a turkey that some well meaning soul put in the bin at the grocery store…I am old exploding turkeys should be classified as a lethal weapon 😉

  6. maplesugar
    October 3, 2008 at 9:37 am

    ah shoot…dyslexic fingers this morning… that should read: ….I am told (not old) my bad 🙂

  7. Christina - the Happy Slob Housecleaner
    October 3, 2008 at 9:58 am

    Oh, is there any food more comforting than grilled cheese?? I love the parmesan trick – and speaking of love, I really love your blog, Julie. Thanks for all of the amazing ideas.

    And does anyone else like sliced onions in their grilled cheese? Or is it just me being weird again?

  8. Lana
    October 3, 2008 at 11:00 am

    We eat grilled cheese at least once a week and I will try the parm thing next time, for sure! I also love putting some pesto on the inside of the bread and mixing mozza and old cheddar for the melty-part. Yum!
    Big hugs for you Julie!

  9. Buddiegirl
    October 3, 2008 at 11:35 am

    I love grilled cheese sandwiches too. I could eat one every day for the rest of my life and not get tired of them with so many different cheeses, so much good bread, so many great combinations. I love brie and thinly sliced ham on thick country style Italian bread or tomato, mozzarella and pesto on ciabatta bread made more like a panini than a true grilled cheese, but the cheese is gooey and isn’t that matters.

    I also like cheddar and lots of it with either thin sliced onion (especially vidalia) or perfectly ripe tomatoes on any kind of bread.

    Darn, I wish I hadn’t just eaten lunch or I would be making a grilled cheese sandwich right now.

  10. Cheryl
    October 3, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    Yum! Although I whoeheartedly disagree with ketchup use and grilled cheese, I am outnumbered in my house.
    I love to put thinly sliced apples or even roasted apples in my grilled cheese. Works for quesadillas too.

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