Alibi V.18 No.22 • May 28-June 3, 2009 


The Perfect Grilled Cheese

Follow our five simple rules and you, too, can be a grilled cheese champion.

The Rules

1) Cut the cheese strategically! Slice soft, shred semi-hard and grate hard cheeses.

2) Lube it up! Butter the pan and both slices of bread.

3) Push it real good! Use a pot or pan to press your sandwich.

4) No peeking! Don't flip too soon, and don't peak before it’s ready; use your other senses.

5) Take a break! Always let the sandwich rest before cutting.

6) Repeat often!

The Perfect Grilled Cheese


1 tablespoon French-style butter (at least 83 percent fat)
2 ounces Taleggio
1 ounce Mimolette
2 slices sourdough ciabatta-style bread

1) Take the butter out of the fridge and store it near the stove to get it soft and spreadable.

2) Slice the Taleggio with a thin knife. Grate the Mimolette with a microplane. Store the cheeses on a cutting board or in bowls while you prepare the rest of the fixings. The cheese should be room temp before hitting the pan.

3) Butter the outer side of each piece of bread, from tip to tip.

4) Heat a cast-iron skillet on high for a couple of minutes. Reduce heat to medium and start lubing with butter. Gauge how hot the pan is by whether the butter burns (too hot) or just quickly sizzles (perfect). Heavily butter the center of the pan and immediately hit with a large pinch of Mimolette, distributing the cheese roughly in the shape of a piece of bread. Quickly follow it up by placing the bread slice on top, butter side down. Top with Taleggio slices (just enough to cover bread completely) and the second bread slice butter side up.

5) Press sandwich by balancing a medium-sized pot on top. Let cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until Taleggio shows the earliest signs of melting. Confidently slide spatula under sammy and flip once, being sure that the Mimolette is fully removed from the pan's surface. It should be golden-orange and crisped without being burnt.

6) Repeat on second side. Remove once Taleggio is oozing onto pan. Let sit for 30 to 45 seconds before cutting with a serrated knife. Do not ruin your perfect sandwich by applying too much pressure: Gently saw through the crunchy crisped cheese crust and let that knife do all the work.