There's nothing like a classic grilled cheese sandwich. With its buttery, melty, and toasty consistency, it has been one of America's favorite comfort foods since gaining modern popularity as an open-faced cheese sandwich during World War II. And whether you prefer the strong, robust taste of sharp cheddar on sourdough, the rich, creamy flavor of brie or gruyere, the salty crumble of gorgonzola, or you keep it simple with just a few Kraft singles on white bread, it's safe to say that you know the unique satisfaction of biting into a grilled cheese sandwich and pulling it back to relish the stretch of the melted cheese is like none other.
But it turns out there's a secret ingredient that, when added, can elevate your average grilled cheese to a whole new level of flavor: pickles. The tangy, briny crunch of dill pickles adds a delicious taste and texture to your grilled cheese, leaving you with only the question for its traditional tomato soup pairing: To dip or not to dip?
How To Add Pickles To Your Grilled Cheese
The first step to making your pickle grilled cheese is choosing your bread. While variety you swear by -- be it white or sourdough, rye or ciabatta -- your slices are bookends for the perfect grilled cheese; just make sure your slices are no more than ½-inch thick so that your cheese melts thoroughly. While picking ingredients, you'll want to select a cheese that melts well, like cheddar or provolone. Since you'll be adding pickles, choosing the right ones is equally important. Luckily, there are no strict rules — use dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, or even a layer of sweet pickle relish. Just be sure you slice your pickles thin and pat them dry before adding them so they don't make your sandwich soggy.
When you're ready to cook your grilled cheese, it's important that you do so on low to medium heat. If your pan gets too hot, you risk your bread burning before your cheese is even melted. And don't forget: Butter is the key to a perfect grilled cheese (though some prefer mayo for its flavor and ability to stand up against a higher temperature without burning), and spreading it along your slices — or melting some in the pan, then pan-frying your sandwich directly in it — helps create that crusty outer layer that complements the interior meltiness. That's all it takes to make a deliciously updated sandwich with a little tang.
Other Ways To Take Your Grilled Cheese To The Next Level
There are seemingly unlimited ways to update a grilled cheese sandwich from a comforting classic to a totally new meal. You can substitute the sliced bread for dinner rolls (especially sweet Hawaiian rolls), which is a fun way to update the classic. Just slice and turn them inside out, and you've got an extra smooth, buttery take on a favorite. If you're feeling extra adventurous, you can even use a donut as your bread for a seriously sweet and savory treat. You'll simply slice your donut down the middle and spread both halves with butter, then cook your sandwich as usual. However, it's important to note that yeast donuts work better than cake, as the texture of cake donuts makes them harder to slice. And if you want to go without the bread altogether, try swapping it for bread cheese, a Scandinavian cheese with a bread-like crust. Bread cheese will soften when heated but won't fully melt, so it will hold the sandwich together well.
As far as add-ins, feel free to continue getting as creative as you'd like. In addition to pickles, you can add bacon, ham, or pulled pork for added saltiness, avocado, or sun-dried tomatoes, or you can spread your sandwich with honey or chutney for a sweeter flavor addition. The sky is truly the limit for grilled cheese sandwiches — as long as there's cheese, the rest is up to you.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.