Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month!
Apr 2nd, 2015
April is National Grilled Cheese Month (not that we ever needed an excuse to eat grilled cheese) and people everywhere are getting more and more creative with their cheesy creations. If you haven’t been adventurous with your grilled cheese, now’s the time to start! Here are some quick tips so you can build the best grilled cheese to celebrate with!
Start with the obvious – the cheese!
Not all cheeses are created equal, so it’s important to know what kinds of cheese work best for this classic sandwich. It’s usually best to go with a semi-hard or soft cheese; it will melt easier, making for a perfect, ooey-gooey creation. Some great examples are:
- Gouda – Has a nutty to almost sweet flavor that would pair nicely with savory flavors.
- Havarti – Has a creamy, buttery flavor that pairs well with either savory or sweet. For sweet, go with a plain, creamy Havarti and for savory flavors, we recommend a tasty Dill Havarti.
- Brie – A soft cheese with a buttery, creamy flavor that we could eat with anything, but love to pair it with sweet flavors!
- Or the classic Cheddar – Cheddar is a classic cheese that also has a variety of flavors! Our personal favorite is a smoked cheddar.
According to popular food blogger Heidi Larsen of FoodieCrush, “The key to great grilled cheese is using a great melting cheese. Arla Dofino Havarti is creamy, melts easily and the flavor melds perfectly with just about anything you add to it.”
Complement the Cheese.
To bring out all the tasty flavors of the cheese, pair it with something complementary, and don’t be afraid to try different things!
- Sweet flavors – Some great sweet options we love are: pears, apples, fig jam, melted brown sugar, basil and even honey.
- Savory flavors – The flavors that pair best with a sweeter cheese are bacon (duh), prosciutto, tomatoes, caramelized onions and chicken.
- Best of both – you can even get really creative and pair a savory with a sweet like tomatoes and basil, or prosciutto and pears!
Don’t neglect your bread.
Don’t think of the bread as simply a delivery-device for all of the flavor, but as something that brings it all together! You’ll want a good, firm bread that will hold all of it together. Some of our favorites are:
- Classic Cibatta – a nice, firm bread that has a nice, light flavor that would compliment nicely with savory or sweet.
- Multi-Grain – these work well with savory sandwiches bringing in a nuttier flavor in with the salty-savory fixings in your sandwich.
- Sour Dough – A classic bread perfect for those savory sandwiches.
- French Bread – Obviously, a favorite of ours, because it goes with anything!
- Whole Wheat – And we could never leave out whole wheat!
Put a lid on it.
FoodieCrush recommends using a quality nonstick pan with a lid. Covering the pan insures the grilled cheese gets a golden exterior, but also that the cheese will melt, even over a low heat. Adding a shot of water can create a steamy environment and encourage the cheese to melt a bit more.
Don’t limit the melty goodness.
Celebrate grilled cheese sandwiches in all their melty, cheesy goodness with grilled cheese for every meal of the day. Think savory ham with delicious Gouda on an English muffin for breakfast!
“Whoever said breakfast had to be boring? You can have your grilled cheese and eat it too. This nontraditional breakfast food is a surefire way to get kids who normally wouldn’t touch breakfast to sit down and enjoy a delicious meal that keeps them full until lunch.”
—Barbara Ruhs, M.S., R.D.N., registered dietitian and food and nutrition expert for Progressive Grocer magazine and Environmental Nutrition.
What’s your favorite Grilled Cheese Creation? Share it with us in the comments!