The secret to a perfect grilled cheese

The humble grilled cheese can be a beautiful and completely underrated meal. As a busy working mom, one of my secrets to putting a last-minute homemade meal on the table, is having just a few staples on hand to rustle up an ooey gooey crowd pleaser, any day of the week.

You can keep it simple, or make it gourmet, but these are the musts:

1. Incredible cheese (of course)

Incredible to you, that is. This could mean a smoky slice of cheddar, a generous shaving of Parmesan, a plastic wrapped ‘single’, a cave-aged Gruyère, or a combination of the leftover bits and bobs of cheese in the fridge. You do you.

2. Bread

Wholesome and satisfying; there’s nothing like sinking your teeth into your favourite. Choose sourdough, challah, white sandwich, rye, grainy wheat, a cheese bun (seriously, so good) or anything at all from your favourite bakery. No bread substitutes, please…I’m looking at you, cauliflower.

3. The perfect Crunch

Afrim Pristine of The Cheese Boutique brushing canola oil on bread for grilled cheese

Technique can make or break a grilled cheese. A perfectly caramelized crust coupled with a gooey melted centre is, in one word: magical. Here’s the ultimate pro tip to making it happen, courtesy of Afrim Pristine, Maître de Fromage, at Toronto’s Cheese Boutique:

  • Brush each side of the bread with canola oil.
  • In a frying pan over medium heat, brown one side of each slice.
  • Flip, and top the first slice with oodles of cheese. Top cheese with a second slice of bread, toasted side down.
  • Cook until underside is browned. Flip and wait patiently for more browning.
  • Remove from pan and allow to rest until cheese is completely melted.

4. Enjoy with others

My number one tip for maximum joy at any meal.

Erin MacGregor, RD, PHEc. Co-Founder HowToEat.ca

Dara & Erin, HowToEat.ca

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