What do you think of when I say grilled cheese?
The first image that comes to mind is, golden brown, buttery with oozey melted American cheese.
Yes. This girl, who writes from scratch, seasonal recipes, is admitting that the first thing that comes to her mind when you say grilled cheese is one made with American cheese.
What can I say, I grew up with the stuff – but at least mom purchased the fresh, sliced from the deli kind! As an adult though, my palate for grilled cheese sandwiches evolved, and I began to enjoy more varieties than my standard white bread and American cheese. A nice sharp cheddar, grilled goat cheese, or melty gruyere – always served with a bowl of soup on the side.
With my love for grilled cheese standing strong, I was more than happy to receive a copy of 150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches by Allison Lewis to review.
About the book – in the introduction Alison writes how grilled cheese has been called the “new hamburger.” Her friend Kelley, a professional chef tweeted that “Grilled cheese makes the world a better place.” Once tweeted, a flurry of remarks were sent back in agreement, plus comments suggesting what to add to make the grilled cheese even better (such as bacon).
Alison provides us with criteria with what cheese makes a good grilled cheese- it should be an easy melting cheese, but also pack great flavor with your other ingredients. Her tips are simple, but valuable to a successful sandwich – soften your butter and spread it on your bread instead of melting it in the pan; use grated or thinly sliced cheese for faster melting; and (in my opinion the most important), the more cheese, the better the result.
The book is divided into 10 chapters, breakfast and brunch, appetizers, light and healthy, meatless, beef, chicken and turkey, pork, fish and seafood, condiments and desserts.
There are some wonderful seasonal recipes featured in the book, that will keep you busy year round. Recipes are easy to put together in under 10 minutes for a quick weeknight dinner, or even better throw a grilled cheese party!
I have to admit though, while every sandwich sounded amazing, and I truly look forward to trying more recipes, the meat centric chapters felt more like sandwiches with cheese than actual grilled cheese sandwich. Call me a grilled cheese purist, but I was always the person who just wanted cheese and bread.
To get over my purist issues, I went ahead and cooked up the Grilled Four-Cheese Minis and BLT Grilled Cheese with Avocado. The first, paired with blackberry jam (or whatever you had on hand) was an excellent compliment to the cheese. I will most definitely be adding jam to my grilled cheeses in the future. The second, I made one adjustment as I don’t care for warm mayo and it was a mistake. The sandwich needed that extra condiment flavor. Otherwise, one can’t complain much about melted cheese, tomato, bacon and avocado.
With easy to read full page recipes, a paperback formatted book, and full page color photographs interspersed throughout, this is a great book for any grilled cheese lover.
150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches by Alison Lewis; Publisher: Robert Rose; ISBN: 978-0778804123
FTC Disclosure: I was sent a copy of the book to review, all opinions in this post are of my own. No monetary value was exchanged.