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gourmet grilled cheeses

Posted by aleta under the comfort foodie

Grilled cheese. Mmmmm. Nothing quite like it on a rainy Sunday afternoon beside a bowl of hot soup. Or a night when mom doesn’t feel like really cooking. Crispy, gooey, warm, always fresh, eternally comforting, grilled cheeses are truly an amazing thing.

But what if I told you it could BETTER?! Yes, you heard it, better than you remember. This was Dano’s claim upon our first rainy Sunday together, and I’m all like “psh, yeah right, dude.” But he was right. The secret?

Put a little . . . spice on it, rowr!

Spices. This is my traditional grilled cheese spice mix: salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, basil and just a smidge of cayenne pepper. And what’s more, the spices add enough savour that you can make this with just a teaspoon of margarine (for the whole thing) . . .

This is what 1 tsp of margarine looks like.

. . . some light bread . . .

A life saver.

. . . and fat free cheese singles. I have a feeling a few people are going to call for my foodie resignation, but those people have not had these sammiches! You don’t have to make this light; my first experience was with thick-cut cheddar, a meaty and flavourful whole-grain bread and lots of butter. It was certainly delightful. Make your grilled cheese your favourite way, but the spices are key.

Now, there is a method to the spices. All your leafy spices go on one slice, and all your powdery ones on the other.

Flakes on one, powders on the other.

Take your knife and pretend you’re spreading more butter/margarine on there to smear all the spices in real good-like. Check out your fridge for any miscellaneous vegetables you might like on there and chop them up pretty finely. This will prevent you from burning your lips on a length of onion that drew out some damn hot cheese with it. I always use onions, tomatoes, fresh basil if I have it, and just a single slice of ham. Be generous, you’re making a sammich here!

Onion VERSUS Tomato.

And then you construct your perfect grilled cheese on medium-hot. I think the picture says it all.


Btw, that black stuff on there is actually purple basil. I like to let my cheese cook veerrryyy slooowwwwlllyyy. You don’t have to do that. I think I just like watching it.


Now no squishing with your spatula, okay? Flip!


And once it’s all melty like that, you are ready to eat! Serve as one does grilled cheese.

I like to try all kinds of different mixes of things depending on what I’m eating for bread at the time and what I’m in the mood for. So with sandwich-sliced raisin bread I’ll use sage, basil, cinnamon, chili powder. With a wheat bread maybe I’ll try mace instead of cayenne. You see? Whatever you like in food, you’ll probably like on your grilled cheese. Except garlic powder, that has never quite worked out for me!

Omnom and cheese.

Grilled cheeses. Totally omonom.

Dano’s Gourmet Grilled Cheeses
highly adaptable to your liking

2 slices bread of your choice
Margarine or butter to your liking
2 slices cheese of your choice
Sliced onions, tomatoes, avocado, basil, cilantro, parsley, green/red peppers, ham, turkey, or whatever else tasty and sammich-able is in your fridge
Spices! (again, I use a generous pinch each of basil, oregano, paprika, salt & pepper, and then a tiny little amount of cayenne pepper) Also works well is chili powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, pre-made spice mixes, Tony Chachere’s, whatever’s in your spice rack.

Sprinkle your leafy spices on one slice of buttered bread, and your powdery spices on the other. Smear both sides good with your knife, just don’t get too overzealous and tear the bread.

Craft your grilled cheese over medium to medium-high heat, stacking one ingredient at a time onto the pan. Heat up some soup, keep an eye on the cheese, and enjoy when it’s all ready.

  1. Amanda Said,

    how about doing this with mozzarella? make it all nom-nom-ish melty.

  2. Piee and JSBanana Said,

    Wow! I want to get a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch tomorrow now! (and I haven’t had one in yeeeaaaars)

  3. heather Said,

    YUM! I love putting spices on grilled cheese, but have always put them on the outside of the bread, after buttering it – I think I need to try it this way! my favorite combo is cayenne and black garlic pepper with cheddar cheese.

  4. Ellen Said,

    Your grilled cheese looks amazing! Thanks for the fun pictures too; your Omnomnom picture made me laugh out loud.

  5. tigerfish Said,

    Amazing photos perspectives 🙂

  6. Tami Said,

    Oh, yeah! A grown up grilled cheese. Look delish!

    I love the photos, too!

  7. Ostrakos Said,

    2 slices is hardly enough for a real grilled cheese.

  8. marleybear Said,

    I love to put dill pickles slices in my grilled cheese. Try it, it’s delish!

  9. emma Said,

    My fave is caramelized onions and just a smidge of whole grain mustard.

  10. Jesse Said,

    YUM! My favorite addition to a grilled cheese is cream cheese mixed with crushed garlic and chipolte peppers. I bet that would be amazing with all of those spices.

  11. maggie Said,

    Yum. I like the addition of spices…I’ve never done that! Love the sandwich-building animation, too.

  12. Anonymous Said,

    not sure if this really counts as a grilled cheese, but our dinner sometimes consists of the same sandwich with a fried egg in the middle. I add salt and pepper, but some extras are a nice idea!

  13. Lo Said,

    OK — you’ve totally convinced me. I’m a grilled cheese devotee, but I’ve never had them quite this way.

    love the blog…

  14. aleta meadowlark Said,

    Everyone has such great ideas! Thanks for sharing, dudes!

  15. Shari@Whisk: a food blog Said,

    That looks the best grilled cheese ever!!

  16. Nhiro Said,

    Ha, I love the animated pic. I just ate but now I’m craving grilled cheese.

  17. ash Said,

    I love grilled cheese, and will definitely have to try this one! PS a light drizzle of truffle oil really tastes amazing, with Havarti cheese… mmmmmm

  18. Katie Said,

    This whole post made me laugh! 🙂

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