Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Use good ingredients for terrific results—no more effort than cooking with mediocre stuff.
TIME 10 minutes
MAKES 1 sandwich
2 ounces melting cheese, like cheddar or Gruyère
2 slices sandwich bread
1 tablespoon butter

1 Slice or grate the cheese. Put the cheese in an even layer between the bread slices, up to about ¼ inch from the edges.

2 Put the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. When the butter melts, swirl the pan to spread it around a bit and put the sandwich in the skillet. Cook until the bottom of the sandwich is lightly browned and the cheese begins to melt, 2 to 5 minutes.

3 Turn the sandwich over and cook until the second side is also lightly browned and the cheese is fully melted, 2 to 3 minutes more. Cut in half (or into quarters if you like) and eat.

  • Big-Batch Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: Heat the oven to 400°F and multiply the recipe for as many sandwiches as you like. Grease a large baking sheet with half the butter and melt the rest. Put the sandwiches on the baking sheet so they have a little space between them. Brush the tops with the melted butter. Bake until the bread is golden and crisp on both sides and the cheese has melted, turning once or twice to promote even cooking, 15 to 20 minutes total.
  • 5 Ways to Vary Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. Be careful not to overload the sandwich or it won’t hold together:

1 Smear the inside of the sandwich with mustard or mayonnaise.
2 Add a slice of tomato.
3 Smear 1 slice of the bread with pesto and use mozzarella.
4 Spread a spoonful of caramelized onions on 1 side of the bread.
5 Crumble a slice of bacon on top of the cheese.

  • The cheeses shown here all melt easily and are good choices for cooking.
  • You can use olive oil instead of the butter if you like, but the results won’t be quite as rich.

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