The best grilled cheese sandwich. Period.

The grilled cheese sandwich is an undisputed classic. Melted cheese on buttery toasted bread really can’t miss.

Whether it is offered as an old-school white bread with American cheese version or a fancy combo of imported cheese, artisanal bread and specialty condiments, this sandwich is pretty wonderful. OK, OK, it’s not exactly health food, but sometimes a splurge is warranted and, as far as indulgences go, this one is quite delicious.

When it is paired with a simple salad like the one below and chased with a dessert of fresh fruit, sorbet or mint tea, the richness of the grilled cheese sandwich balances out.

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Over the last month, we ate a lot of dinners in front of the television supporting our beloved Philadelphia teams, and sandwiches lend themselves well to this type of eating.

This particular version took advantage of the last of the late-season tomatoes and also incorporated a dash of spice. Coating the outside of the bread with mayonnaise is an unorthodox approach, but trust me, it enhances the crispiness of the bread, adds a subtle tang of flavor and, although this is not much of a consideration under the circumstances, slightly reduces the fat content in the sandwich by using a bit less butter.

As for the bread, I opted for a hearty whole grain loaf, but any good quality sturdy bread works — try a plowman’s loaf, table bread, boule, sourdough et cetera. Different bakers have different names but you are looking for something firm and kind of chewy, not anything delicate or flimsy.
Using grated cheese ensures even melting and a transcendent texture. The amounts below are estimates; depending on the size of the bread, more or less of each ingredient may be needed.

Makes 1 sandwich

2 slices best quality, sturdy bread
4 thin slices of tomato, cut to fit the bread
½ cup grated cheddar…


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