A Definitive Grilled Cheese

When cooking for children, keep in mind the ease of execution and taste. In kid terms: Is it done yet? Is it yummy? Now, is it done yet? To create a recipe geared toward the younger crop (now back in school), I considered what brought me comfort as a child.

The memory was grilled cheese with tomato soup. Super simple and delicious, the sandwich is what food therapy is all about: warm, gooey, flavorful goodness between two buttery soft-inside-but-gently-crisped-outside layers. I’ll leave the tomato soup recipe for another time. For now, let’s focus on making the most of this often under-inspired sandwich.

What bread works best? A soft sourdough is moist enough to soak in just the right amount of melted butter yet form a golden-brown, crisp layer on the outside. What cheese to use? The key is one that melts quickly but doesn’t leave you wanting. I prefer a combination of cheddar and Gouda. Cheddar offers a somewhat familiar flavor while the Gouda adds a touch of smokiness.

— Eli Haddix of Evansville has worked in the restaurant business for 13 years

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

•  2 slices of soft sourdough bread 
•  2 ounces of Gouda and 2 ounces of cheddar cheese
•  1 tablespoon of butter

The preferred path to buttery crisp perfection is to soften the butter to room temperature and spread it evenly on the bread while preheating the skillet.

When the skillet has reached medium-high heat, place the bread butter-side down in the skillet and immediately place the slices of cheese on each slice to melt.

Watch for the edges to crisp and develop a slightly darker color.

Flip one piece onto the other and turn off the heat, allowing the cheese to melt fully. Flip the entire sandwich once to allow both sides to gently toast without burning.

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