There’s nothing more simple to make and satisfying to enjoy than a warm, crisp and gooey cheese sandwich. Here I share two ways to prepare an easy grilled cheese sandwich in less than 20 minutes. Try your preferred recipe for a quick and yummy breakfast, lunch, or even dinner.
First, slice your bread loaf in ½ inches slices. You want about 8 to 10 slices total, depending on how many cheese sandwiches you decide to make.
Spread softened butter evenly on the bread slices.
Top half of the slices with 3 to 4 tablespoons or more (depending on the size of the bread slices) of freshly grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese, or a mix of both.
Sprinkle with a pinch or two of various dried herbs, red chilli flakes and crushed black pepper. I have used parsley, thyme and oregano with a few bits of red chilli pepper flakes.
Top lightly with some chopped fresh basil and finely chopped celery. You can use dried basil in place of fresh basil.
Sprinkle one to pinches of salt evenly all over. If you don’t have fresh celery, swap with celery salt, and omit the salt.
Cover the cheese topped bread with the buttered slice.
Heat a heavy or a thick bottomed skillet, or a frying pan, on low to medium-low heat on the stovetop. Melt and then spread the butter on the skillet. Place the prepared cheese sandwich on the melted butter.
Spread some more softened butter on top of the cheese sandwich.
Gently press the sandwich with a spatula so that you can get nice, evenly toasted and crispy texture. You can even place a heavy object, like a clean plate, on the sandwich.
When the bottom is crusty and golden, flip over gently with a spatula. Grill the second side for few minutes until crisp and golden, pressing with the spatula for even cooking.
Remove the grilled cheese sandwich from the skillet. Transfer to a chopping board and cut in two. Serve hot with Ketchup, Mayonnaise or any dip of your choice.
Make all the cheese sandwiches this way on the skillet. If you have a large skillet, grill two or three sandwiches side by side on the skillet.
With Panini Press
First grate the cheese and set aside. Then spread the softened butter on each of the bread slice.
Top half of the bread slices with 3 to 4 tablespoons of grated cheese or more as needed, depending on the size of the bread.
Sprinkle two to three pinches of black pepper powder, cumin powder and chaat masala on each slice which is topped with grated cheese.
Cover the cheese topped bread slices with the remaining buttered bread slices.
Spread butter on top of each slice.
On a heated panini press place the sandwich carefully with the buttered side touching the bottom grill.
Spread butter on the top bread slices. Close the panini press or the sandwich maker and grill for 2 to 3 minutes until the sandwiches are crisp and golden.
Serve grilled cheese sandwich hot as is or accompanied with Coriander Chutney or tomato ketchup or mayo.
Bread: Use a good fresh loaf of bread or even a one to two day old bread. Feel free to use bread made with either whole wheat, multi grain or oats for a healthier option. If using a loaf of Homemade Bread, then don't slice the bread too thickly or thinly.
Cheese: For a melted gooey cheesy sandwich use a cheese that melts when grilled. Basically we are looking for a crisp golden exterior with a smooth melted cheese within. I generally use cheddar cheese or mozzarella or a mix of both to make these sandwiches.
Types of cheese: You can make these sandwiches with processed cheese (American cheese) or only mozzarella cheese or a mix of cheddar and mozzarella. However, I always use (and recommend you use) a block of cheddar or mozzarella cheese, which I then grate and add to the bread. Pre-shredded cheese or slices of cheese typically have starch or thickeners, additives and preservatives in them. The starch gives a different taste to the sandwich, so I personally prefer to shred the cheese.
Butter: The butter has to be applied evenly and on the whole slice of the bread. I always use salted softened butter at room temperature and not melted butter. A generous amount of butter not only adds a lot of flavor and taste but also helps the bread slices to grill and brown evenly.
Toasting Options: Instead of grilling the sandwiches you can also toast the sandwiches in an electric toaster or a hand held stovetop toaster.
Herbs and Seasonings: Feel free to include the seasonings and herbs that you like or have in season. Fragrant herbs like mint, cilantro, basil, parsley are some nice options. Choose to add spices like cayenne or paprika or white pepper for that bit of heat and pungency. Swap with dried herbs if you do not have fresh herbs - 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh herb = 1 teaspoon of dried herbs.
Grilling in Oven: To grill these cheese sandwiches in the oven, first preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius/356 Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Place the sandwich in a baking tray. Make sure that both the top and bottom elements of the oven are heated. Place the tray with the sandwiches in the middle rack of your oven. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius/356 Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes or until the sandwiches become crusty and golden from top. Turn over half way through the baking time if you see that the top has not become crusty or golden.
Note that the approximate nutrition info is for the cheese sandwich grilled on the skillet.