A grilled cheese sandwich is the ultimate comfort food. The best are ooey, gooey and cheesy. Gourmet versions are the rage today, but none can match the simplicity and flavor of this one.
History of the Best Cheese
Which cheese is best? A certain pasteurized cheese product is the answer. It’s a mouthful, but that’s what Kraft foods officially calls one of its flagship products – Velveeta. Originally created in 1918 by Emil Frey at the Monroe Cheese Company in upstate New York because he needed a way to use the broken, leftover pieces of swiss and incorporated it into the recipe. If you are wondering, Emil was not related to the infamous Walder Frey, Lord of Riverrun but he is just as dead and we owe him a debt of gratitude for his invention.
Kraft foods bought the rights to Velveeta in 1927 and over the years it evolved into what we know today. It’s a “cheese” that contains no real cheese, although it has ingredients that cheese is made with such as milk and whey. It also has flavoring, coloring, preservatives and stuff to make it melt so easily and uniformly.
That brings us to an inescapable truth. This lovely mess makes the best grilled cheese of all!
My Love Affair With Velveeta
I have a long personal history with Velveeta from childhood to the present. Mom and later, my wife indulged me with mac and cheese, grilled sandwiches and party dips. It’s extremely popular and who can forget the 2014 Super Bowl “Cheesepocalypse”? Was there a real Velveeta shortage, or was it just a marketing ploy? Only Don Draper and the men of Madison Avenue will ever know for sure.
The fanciest gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, made with gruyere or cheddar are good. I have eaten them with extra goodies like bacon and thought they were delicious. Then, there is Tom+Chee a chain restaurant specializing in dozens and dozens of different grilled cheeses.
It was extraordinary, but…
I always come back to my Velveeta, a lifelong addiction. Can’t shake it. Can’t do without it. Gotta have it, so I occasionally, furtively, get out the cast iron skillet, butter, white bread and Liquid Gold.Print
Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Traditional grilled cheese of my childhood!
- Butter – softened to room temp
- 2 slices white bread with crusts
- Velveeta – 1/4″ thick. Enough to cover a slice of bread. More if you want, don’t be ashamed
- Kosher dill pickle spears – as many as you want!
- Slice your Velveeta
- Cover a slice of bread completely with cheese
- Place a second slice of bread on top and butter it completely and generously
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet
- Heat your skillet on medium high
- When the butter bubbles, place your sandwich non-buttered side down into the skillet
- Fry until the bottom is golden brown – it will take only 2-3 minutes
- Turn it over with a spatula, press down lightly and fry until your cheese is melting and the second side is golden brown. I prefer mine just shy of too brown. It gives it a crispy crunch, then melts in your mouth.
- Plate, slice in half diagonally and serve with pickles. The acidity of the pickle is a perfect counterpoint to the savory sandwich
And just one more thing…
The latest fad is substituting mayonnaise for butter. I love mayo and I tried it. Don’t be fooled because you can’t beat real butter!
Keywords: grilled cheese recipe