Grilled Cheese: Recipes for All Tastes
February 12th, 2013 posted by Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board
Parents and children all over know how to make a basic grilled cheese sandwich. Butter a couple slices of bread, put American cheese between them and grill on a skillet. We bet you didn’t know that there are several other ways to prepare this lunch staple. Check out these delicious recipes for yourself!
Classic Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Ingredients: 8 slices firm-textured sandwich bread Mayonnaise, optional Mustard, optional 1/2 pound (8 ounces) Wisconsin Cheddar cheese, mild, medium or sharp, grated 3 to 4 tablespoons butter, softened Cooking Directions: Spread bread slices with a thin layer of mayonnaise and/or mustard. Evenly divide the grated Cheddar over four slices of the bread. Top with remaining four slices. Heat half of the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Place sandwiches in skillet. Spread remaining butter over top slices of bread. Cover skillet. Cook about 3 minutes, until underside is golden brown. Carefully flip sandwiches with spatula and continue cooking, uncovered, 2 to 3 minutes, until cheese is melted and underside is browned. Serve immediately. Tip: Using 2 to 3 ounces of processed cheese to replace part of the Cheddar imparts a creamy, silky sandwich. Processed cheese was traditionally used in grilled cheese sandwiches.
Hot Turkey Dijon Sandwiches
Ingredients: 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard 1 1/2 tablespoons low-calorie mayonnaise 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon tarragon 4 slices whole wheat bread 4 ounces sliced Wisconsin Swiss or Baby Swiss cheese 4 ounces sliced turkey or chicken 1 1/2 tablespoons butter Cooking Directions: In small bowl mix mustard, mayonnaise and tarragon. Spread on bread slices, dividing equally. For each sandwich, top one of the bread slices with half the cheese and turkey. Cover with another bread slice. Melt butter in large non-stick skillet. Add sandwiches. Cook over medium heat until bread is toasted and cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Serve hot.
South of the Border Wisconsin Grilled Cheese
Ingredients 1/4 cup tomato-based salsa 2 tablespoons fire-roasted canned, diced green chiles, drained 1 teaspoon taco seasoning 2 tablespoons butter, softened 8 (1/2 inch thick) slices hearty artisan jalapeno or tomato bread 4 ounces (1 cup) Wisconsin Queso Quesadilla cheese*, shredded Directions: In a small bowl, combine salsa, chiles and taco seasoning; let stand 5 minutes. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Spread salsa mixture on the non-buttered side of 4 slices of bread; top with 1/4 cup cheese. Cover with remaining 4 slices of bread, buttered side out. Place sandwiches on an electric griddle heated to 275 degree F, or in a preheated skillet over medium heat. Cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until bread is golden brown, and cheese is melted. *You may substitute another Hispanic melting cheese such as Asadero, Queso Oaxaca or Monterey Jack.
Grilled Ham, Wisconsin Brie & Blue Cheese Sandwich
Ingredients: 2 slices (1/2 inch thick) rustic white country bread or hearty raisin-pecan bread 1 tablespoon apricot or peach preserves 1 slice (1-1/2 ounces) Wisconsin Brie 2 slices Jones Country Carved Deli Thin Ham or Jones Farm Fresh and Tender Dainty Ham 2 tablespoons crumbed Wisconsin Blue Cheese 1 teaspoon Butter, melted Cooking Directions: Spread 1 slice of bread with preserves. Top with Wisconsin Brie, ham, Wisconsin Blue Cheese and second slice of bread. Heat nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush top and bottom of sandwich lightly with butter; place sandwich in skillet and cook about 4 minutes per side until lightly browned and cheese begins to melt.
Ham and Wisconsin Cheese Frenchie
Ingredients: 12 slices whole wheat bread 4 tablespoons butter, softened 6 slices New England style ham, bologna or luncheon meat 6 slices (1 ounce each) Wisconsin Cheddar cheese 3 eggs 1/2 cup milk Dash of salt Cooking Directions: Spread bread with butter. Prepare sandwiches of ham, bologna or luncheon meat, and cheese. Beat together eggs, milk and salt. Dip sandwiches in egg mixture. Grill on lightly buttered griddle on medium heat until toasty and cheese begins to melt. Turn and brown on other side.
Grilled Wisconsin Fontina Sandwich
Ingredients: Cherry Chutney: 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/4 cup red onion, chopped 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves 1 1/2 tablespoons honey 1 cup water Sandwich: 8 slices hearty bread 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature 16 slices of Wisconsin Fontina cheese 1 pound smoked turkey, shaved 1 Granny Smith apple, sliced thin Cooking Directions: To prepare chutney, heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until beginning to brown. Deglaze pan with vinegar. Add cherries, salt, tarragon, honey and water and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes; cool. To prepare sandwiches, butter one side of each slice of bread. Place four slices of bread, buttered side down, in a large, non-stick pan or griddle on medium heat. Top each with Wisconsin Fontina cheese, turkey, sliced apple, and 1 tablespoon of chutney. Top with remaining four slices of bread, buttered side out. Grill each side until golden brown and cheese is melted.
Grilled Wisconsin Blue Cheese and Bacon Sandwiches
Ingredients: 1/2 cup Wisconsin Blue cheese, crumbled 4 ounces cream cheese, softened 1 scallion, thinly sliced 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper 8 (1/2 inch thick) slices hearty onion artisan bread 2 tablespoons butter, softened 4 slices bacon, cooked crisp Directions: In a small bowl, combine Blue cheese, cream cheese, scallions and pepper; mix well. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Spread the Blue cheese mixture on the non-buttered side of 4 slices of bread. Cut bacon slices in half; place 2 halves on top of each Blue cheese topped slice. Cover with remaining 4 slices of bread, buttered side out. Place sandwiches on an electric griddle heated to 275 degrees F, or in a preheated skillet over medium heat. Cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until bread is golden brown, and cheese is melted.
Ham and Wisconsin Cheese with a Twist
Ingredients: 2 slices marble rye bread or pretzel roll 1 tablespoon honey-Dijon mustard 1 slice (1 ounce) Wisconsin Gouda Cheese 2 Jones Farm Fresh and Tender Ham Slices or Jones Country Carved Deli Thin Slices 2 very thin slices red onion or caramelized onions* (optional) 4 to 6 fresh spinach leaves, washed and patted dry 1 slice (1 ounce) Wisconsin Dill Havarti Cheese 1 teaspoon Butter, melted Cooking Directions: Spread bread slices with mustard. Layer Wisconsin Gouda, ham, onion, spinach and Wisconsin Dill Havarti between bread. Heat nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush top and bottom of sandwich lightly with Butter; place sandwich in skillet and cook about 3 minutes per side until bread crisps slightly and Cheese begins to melt. *Note: For caramelized onions, cut a small onion in half and slice thinly. Melt 1/2 teaspoon Butter in a skillet. Add onion slices, a pinch each of salt and sugar; cook and stir over medium-high heat about 5 minutes or until the onion begins to brown. Add 1 tablespoon water and continue cooking on medium-low heat 10 to 15 minutes or until the onion is a deep golden brown.
Grilled Wisconsin Havarti Sandwich with Spiced Apples
Ingredients: 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons butter, softened, divided 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced 4 to 6 tablespoons sugar, to taste 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom 8 thick slices rustic round loaf bread (French or Italian) 8 thin slices Wisconsin Havarti Cheese Cooking Directions: Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add apples, sugar, cinnamon and cardamom; cook about 7 minutes, stirring frequently until most of the apple juices are reduced and the fruit is coated with a syrup. Remove pan from heat. Set aside. Place four slices of the bread on a griddle. Top each with one slice of Wisconsin Havarti, 1/4 of the spiced apples, another slice of Havarti and top with remaining slices of bread. Butter sandwich tops. Turn over and butter again. Place griddle over medium heat. Brown on each side 3 to 5 minutes, until golden and Havarti begins to melt. Cool 5 minutes before serving.
Wisconsin Mascarpone and Dulce de Leche Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Ingredients 4 ounces Wisconsin Mascarpone cheese 2 tablespoons dulce de leche 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 tablespoons butter, softened 8 slices cinnamon raisin bread 2 tablespoons raspberry preserves Directions: In a small bowl, combine Mascarpone, dulce de leche and vanilla extract. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Spread Mascarpone mixture on the non-buttered side of 4 slices of bread. Spread raspberry preserves on the non-buttered side of the remaining 4 slices of bread. Place one slice of bread with raspberry preserves on each Mascarpone-topped bread slice, buttered sides out. Place sandwiches on an electric griddle heated to 350 degree F, or in a preheated skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until bread is lightly toasted. Remove and serve immediately. Since cheese is very soft, serve sandwiches whole, rather than slicing.
Tuscan Style Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Ingredients: 18 spears (1 pound) grilled asparagus 1/2 cup prepared balsamic-garlic-olive oil vinaigrette 12 slices crusty sourdough bread 12 slices (6 ounces) Wisconsin Fontina Cheese 12 slices (8 ounces) Wisconsin Fresh Mozzarella Cheese (from 4 ounce ovals) 1 cup (1 ounce) fresh basil leaves 1 cup (6 ounces) roasted red pepper pieces 12 slices (6 ounces) Wisconsin Provolone Cheese extra virgin olive oil, as needed Cooking Directions: Toss grilled asparagus with vinaigrette and let stand covered and refrigerated, at least 2 hours before using. Reserve. Lay 6 slices of bread on clean, flat surface. Top each slice with (in order) 2 slices Wisconsin Fontina, 3 marinated drained asparagus spears, 2 slices Wisconsin Fresh Mozzarella, 6 fresh basil leaves, 2 1/2 tablespoons red pepper, and 2 slices Wisconsin Provolone. Top with second slice of bread and brush both sides of sandwich with olive oil. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and grill sandwiches on both sides until golden brown. Transfer to baking sheet and keep warm in 350 oven 8 to 10 minutes or until heated through.
Tips for Enjoying the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Use real butter. Nothing beats the flavor and its ability to create the ultimate golden toast for your sandwich.
- Butter the bread, not the pan. Butter will be more evenly distributed which ensures a properly crisp sandwich.
- When using dense breads, slice them thinly so that the heat can penetrate and melt the cheese.
- If your budget doesn’t allow for expensive cheeses, condiments can easily punch up the flavor.
- Grate or shred the cheese; it will melt faster.
- Press the sandwich with a spatula after it’s been flipped to help create the perfect even spread of cheese.
- Use a nonstick pan instead of cast-iron – the sandwich is less likely to stick to the pan, which makes clean-up much easier.