I’ve probably eaten more grilled cheese sandwiches this month than I typically do in an entire year, but I have good reason: it’s Grilled Cheese Month.
Earlier this month I was invited to a “Grilled Cheese Happy Hour” put on by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. I enjoyed fantastic combinations such as Red Rock and Swiss Cheese with Green Tomato Jam and Serrano Ham as well as the Holland’s Family Mature Gouda and Blue Cheese with Cayenne Pepper and Kraut. Many of these recipes came from bloggers, chefs and even consumers. (Download or submit your own at the Grilled Cheese Academy.)
Assuming the average consumer doesn’t have all these wonderful ingredients, I asked Heather Porter Engwall, director of national product communications for the Milk Marketing Board, for some advice on improving the standard grilled cheese sandwich.
Porter Engwall recommends experimenting with ingredients you have in your kitchen, such as guacamole, red peppers or leftover chicken. Most times adding sweet or savory items can really boost the flavor.
Regarding the cheese, ones with low moisture such as Havarti, Fontina, mozzarella and cheddar melt better than high moisture cheeses such as blue and ricotta. Shredding the cheese also helps it melt more quickly. And let’s not forget the bounty our state provides.
“You always have access to great cheese here in Wisconsin,” Porter Engwall said. Yes, yes we do.
Finally, “slow and low” is the best method for cooking your sandwich, meaning use a low heat setting on your stove top. This helps prevent the sandwich from burning while making sure the contents inside melt.