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How to Make the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Life's simplest pleasures are often the most wonderful. When it's cold outside our foodie thoughts go somewhere simple, calorific and comforting. So, what could be better to keep us feeling warm and cosy than a grilled cheese sandwich?

A traditional cheese toastie is not always the order of the day, if we're cooking a grilled cheese, then we want it to be something special. We hooked up with the awesome Ben Atkinson, the brains, beard and brilliance behind Bear Kitchen in Wakefield to find the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

The Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich

So Ben, tell us about the perfect grilled cheese; Bear Kitchen Style

Grilled cheese so simple, yet so satisfying. There are four focus areas that are equally important to create Awesome grilled cheese.

The Bread: Personally, I love flavour so I will advocate a bloomer for this bloomer. You want some holes for the cheese to go through but not so many compromises the overall structure. The thickness of the slices is also an important factor. Too thin and you will have cheese all over you, too thick and the cheese will not melt. Cut your slices about the thickness of your little finger.

The Cheese: It is all about the grated blend. Red cheddar is important for the flavor and also the colour. A nutty continental cheese like Emmental, Comte or Gruyere or even a cheap mozzarella is important to add the stringy texture. Finally, you add parmesan. It adds the umami hit which we all crave.

The Glaze: After experimenting with oil, butter, fats or mayonnaise. At Bear Kitchen we have found that a Hollandaise does the trick. It has the flavour, the consistency and creates an awesome crispy shell.

The Pan & Press: The heavier, the better, and have it on a medium low heat. Slow & Low gets the cheese oozing. It is important to weigh down your sandwich, use it if you have one or even another pan. Glaze only one side of the sandwich before placing the glazed side into a lightly oiled hot pan. You're 4-5 minutes away from grilled cheese heaven. Press and cook until the cheese starts, then glaze the top side and flip. An Awesome tip if you like the taste of crispy cheese, just before it's ready, sprinkle some very finely grated cheese in the pan and over the sandwich and allow these crispy flavour bombs to enhance your already awesome treat.

The Joy: Serve with an awesome sweet tomato chutney or even chilli & bacon jam.

Once your sandwich is cooked, serve immediately or keep it warm in the oven while you cook a few more. Basically, serve and eat as quickly as possible.

So maybe leave the toastie machine in the cupboard today, grab a grill pan and get your grilled cheese on.