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Course: Soups & Sandwiches
Keyword: Big Cheese Squeeze, Comfort Food, Hacks, Sandwiches, Weeknight Dinner

Big Cheese Squeeze

Perfect grilled cheese cheese pull on the set of Alton Brown's Good Eats.
ACTIVE TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 12 minutes
Yield: 1 sandwich
A pair of cast iron skillets and a custom cheese blend are the secret to this perfect grilled cheese sandwich recipe.
There are times when our appetites should be free to comfort us without having to bow to the censorship of our culinary consciousness. What could possibly get us through the winter of our discontent better than the warm embrace of melted cheese nestled between perfectly crisped bread? That's right: Nothing.
I like to use a mixture of semihard and semisoft cheese here. my favorite duo is equal portions of smoked Gouda and Gruyere. Fontina and Asiago are good, too. Could you use one by itself? Sure, but working with combinations will give you the best marriage of flavor and texture.
But hey, at 3 a.m., sharp cheddar will do just fine.
This recipe first appeared in Season 2 of Good Eats.
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  • 2 slices hearty country bread, whole wheat or white
  • 1 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard, plus more to taste
  • 3 ounces grated cheese, such as smoked gouda and Gruyere or Fontina with a young Asiago.
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter

Specialized Hardware

  • 2 (10-inch) cast-iron skillets
Perfect grilled cheese cheese pull on the set of Alton Brown's Good Eats.
ACTIVE TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 12 minutes
Yield: 1 sandwich

Procedure

  • Place two 10-inch cast-iron skillets over high heat for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, spread the mustard on one slice of bread. Distribute the cheese evenly over the mustard, season with pepper, and top with the second slice of bread. Brush the bread surface with the clarified butter. Go for even coverage, but don’t soak the bread or it won’t brown.
  • When the pans are hot, kill the heat and place the sandwich, top-side down, in the middle of skillet number 1. Brush the newly exposed bread face with butter and lay the bottom of skillet number 2 right down on top of the sandwich. Wait. In 3 to 5 minutes, you will hear the sizzle of melted cheese oozing out into the pan. (If you don’t, you went skimpy with the cheese.)
  • Gently remove the top skillet and use a flat metal spatula to remove the sandwich to a waiting cutting board and wait 60 seconds. You will be hungry, so at this time you may want to examine skillet number 1 for toasty little bits of cheese, which you can hungrily devour. When 60 seconds is up, you may wish to cut the sandwich in half with a serrated knife. It won’t make the sandwich taste any better, but there’s something about biting into that cut side that’s very satisfying.
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