Al Dente

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches And Tomato Soup

56 posts in this topic

I'll be taking a trip to a cabin near Deep Creek Lake in a few weeks with some family and I'm on the hook for a day's worth of meals. Breakfast and dinner are already mapped out, but I only have the general outline ready for lunch. Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup sounds good to me, but I want to "kick it up a few notches" to borrow a phrase.

I'm a pretty good home cook, but I'm clueless when it comes to baking, so I doubt I'll bake my own bread. But maybe if someone has a straightforward recipe for bread suitable for the perfect grilled cheese, I'll give it a try. What would be the ideal cheese? Is there a great tomato soup recipe out there? Is there some kind of wacky Adria/Andres concept out there for a deconstructed version of this cold weather classic combo?

Any and all ideas welcome.

Thanks,
Al

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I'll be taking a trip to a cabin near Deep Creek Lake in a few weeks with some family and I'm on the hook for a day's worth of meals. Breakfast and dinner are already mapped out, but I only have the general outline ready for lunch. Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup sounds good to me, but I want to "kick it up a few notches" to borrow a phrase.

I'm a pretty good home cook, but I'm clueless when it comes to baking, so I doubt I'll bake my own bread. But maybe if someone has a straightforward recipe for bread suitable for the perfect grilled cheese, I'll give it a try. What would be the ideal cheese? Is there a great tomato soup recipe out there? Is there some kind of wacky Adria/Andres concept out there for a deconstructed version of this cold weather classic combo?

Any and all ideas welcome.

Thanks,

Al

You're in a cabin in the woods: Use Caerphilly and make a classic Welsh Rarebit, make a mild, smooth, thick, creamy tomato soup, serve freshly-ground white pepper on the side of the plate to be used at the diner's discretion, and don't deconstruct a thing.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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I'll be taking a trip to a cabin near Deep Creek Lake in a few weeks with some family and I'm on the hook for a day's worth of meals. Breakfast and dinner are already mapped out, but I only have the general outline ready for lunch. Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup sounds good to me, but I want to "kick it up a few notches" to borrow a phrase.

I'm a pretty good home cook, but I'm clueless when it comes to baking, so I doubt I'll bake my own bread. But maybe if someone has a straightforward recipe for bread suitable for the perfect grilled cheese, I'll give it a try. What would be the ideal cheese? Is there a great tomato soup recipe out there? Is there some kind of wacky Adria/Andres concept out there for a deconstructed version of this cold weather classic combo?

Any and all ideas welcome.

Thanks,

Al

Mike,

Screw Adria and screw deconstructed. Go to Trader Joe's and buy some "Texas Toast" bread. Get some sharp Wisconsin cheddar. Get some sweet, ripe tomatoes. Fry some quality bacon. Make sure to fry the grilled cheese sandwiches in whole butter. You'll thank me.

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The New Joy of Cooking has a recipe for basic white bread that came out really well when a friend of ours made it for brunch. I think it would be a good grilled cheese bread, but I haven't tried that application.

It's called Fast White Bread and is on p. 744 of my hardcover copy. (If you want to try it out and don't have the book, PM me for the recipe.)

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Go to Cheesetique and get some Cotswold. This cheese is a double-Gloucester cheese and then adds onions and chives to create a savory and sharp cheese. Not very expensive, like $13/lb., and works great in a grilled cheese.

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as Mark suggested the addition of a couple rashers of bacon is paramount.
My preferred grilled cheese has tomato, bacon, and mustard. Turkey bacon is a nice change. To me turkey bacon tastes more like ham than pork bacon does. I know that's weird, but...

A really good mustard also adds something to the sandwich (my husband, who doesn't like mustard, disagrees with this).

And on the kicking it up a notch, potato chips are also necessary with this meal. I've never been too successful at making them myself, but I'll throw the idea out there anyway.

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Mustard?! Good Heavens.

Thickly sliced bread, gouda, a little smoked gouda, thinly sliced apple, bacon. (Mmmmmmm. We might just have this for lunch today. :) )

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Mustard?! Good Heavens.

Thickly sliced bread, gouda, a little smoked gouda, thinly sliced apple, bacon. (Mmmmmmm. We might just have this for lunch today. :) )

The mustard really brings out something in the cheese. I know, people who don't care for mustard don't believe in this theory, but I'm sticking with it :) (And that Welsh Rarebit recipe surely has mustard in it :wub: )

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I really like the Alton Brown trick of making the grilled cheese in a cast iron skillet with another (hot) skillet on top to act almost like a panini press. I also like a little heat mixed with my grated cheese. And if it's just me, sometimes a little ground cumin.

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:) Mark's definitely spot-on here: all of these highfalutin variations might be good, but people, please- this is grilled cheese we're talking about! My only suggestion would be to use butter and sharpest cheddar you can get your hands on (and grate it). Though sourdough and mustard are good (did you get that from Alton Brown, too?), texas toast will give you the perfect ur-sandwich.

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The mustard really brings out something in the cheese. I know, people who don't care for mustard don't believe in this theory, but I'm sticking with it :) (And that Welsh Rarebit recipe surely has mustard in it :) )
I'll absolutely back you up on this. A bit of dijon on a grilled cheese adds a great spicy/vinegary counterpoint to the fat and carbohydrates. (I also think a bit of mustard in crucial on a breakfast egg sandwich, and they always look at me wierd when I order it that way.)

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I'll absolutely back you up on this. A bit of dijon on a grilled cheese adds a great spicy/vinegary counterpoint to the fat and carbohydrates. (I also think a bit of mustard in crucial on a breakfast egg sandwich, and they always look at me wierd when I order it that way.)
The astringent qualities of mustard work well in a variety of ways. I often use it in dry rubs and marinades too.

I actually learned the mustard on grilled cheese thing from my mother (which probably means it came from my grandmother. My grandmother made good grilled cheese, but I don't remember the particulars.) Mom used French's mustard, to go along with the Stroehmann's white bread and Kraft cheese singles. I still sometimes use the Kraft singles (they're a good size and melt nicely), but I use multigrain, rye, or pumpernickel bread and dijon mustard. I've been liking dijon with horseradish a lot lately.

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This is one of my favorite combos. I love adding croutons to the basic tomato soup. Some of the sharper and aged cheddars can be develop a strange texture for those fond of the basic cheddar sandwich. Sometimes I add a bit of mustard and through a tomato on the grill to add to the sandwich.

Just another cheese to consider is a parmesan cheese sandwich (from Cooking with Mr. Latte). Its a nice variation.

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Another nice version of the grilled cheese-tomato soup combo is grilled mozzarella on Italian bread with a side of chunky marinara for dipping. Mmmmm...

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Another nice version of the grilled cheese-tomato soup combo is grilled mozzarella on Italian bread with a side of chunky marinara for dipping. Mmmmm...
I'm a fan of the grilled mozzarella. Smoked mozarella is nice too. Add a variety of toppings depending on mood -- roasted peppers, roasted garlic, tomato, basil, spinach, prosciutto, genoa salami, roasted eggplant. But I stick with tomato soup for dunking. Maybe roasted tomato soup with lots of garlic and basil.

Hmmm...maybe dinner tonight.

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Call me unsophisticated but give me a Wonder bread/texas toast and Kraft singles grilled cheese anyday. Probably love it for the same reason I love my old beat up, painted on Tshirts over my brand new nice ones, sentimental value.

I love this combo when I am sick and at that point I usually don't feel like cooking anything but if you want a ready made soup in a can, there is an Amy's Kitchen tomato soup and tomato bisque that I ate a couple of times after I had my wisdom teeth pulled. I thought it was pretty tasty. Although I was pretty loopy on painkillers and ridiculously hungry for real food, so who knows, maybe it is actually horrible.

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Call me unsophisticated but give me a Wonder bread/texas toast and Kraft singles grilled cheese anyday. Probably love it for the same reason I love my old beat up, painted on Tshirts over my brand new nice ones, sentimental value.

I love this combo when I am sick and at that point I usually don't feel like cooking anything but if you want a ready made soup in a can, there is an Amy's Kitchen tomato soup and tomato bisque that I ate a couple of times after I had my wisdom teeth pulled. I thought it was pretty tasty. Although I was pretty loopy on painkillers and ridiculously hungry for real food, so who knows, maybe it is actually horrible.

I actually have both of those Amy's soups in my pantry. They are defintely not terrible, but they also do not resemble Campbell's in any way, if that's what one is craving.

Mr. Squids introduced me to the best grilled cheese---with a thin shmear of mayo. It really adds to the creaminess of the melted cheese. I've also tried mustard, and do like it, but the mayo rules. I hadn't ever heard of it before, but am definitely a convert. We can't be the only ones?

As far as bread goes, if you want some really good thick bread (Texas toast style) try Effie's--they sell it at our local Giant, and we've also found it at Han Ah Reum. Extremely dense, fine grain, slightly sweet. Myself, I prefer a smaller bread-to-cheese ratio for my grilled cheese sammies.

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Mr. Squids introduced me to the best grilled cheese---with a thin shmear of mayo. It really adds to the creaminess of the melted cheese. I've also tried mustard, and do like it, but the mayo rules. I hadn't ever heard of it before, but am definitely a convert. We can't be the only ones?
Among the variations on grilled cheese I make is grilled turkey and cheese (usually swiss or provolone). I use mayo on that instead of mustard, and it is good.

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I know you said you were going to be in a cabin and don't want to be hauling a bunch of cooking equiptment around. I DO need to remind how marvelous it is to make grilled cheese in a waffle iron. It just doesn't get much crispier. I like Wisconsin Cheddar,thin apple slices on dark wheat in the waffle iron. Yum.

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Cabot's presliced cheddar, Health Nut bread, mayo on the bread, unsalted butter in the cast iron pan, with a weight on top (another cast iron pan works fine).

I would not use a really excellent cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich. The other flavors overwhelm.

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Can grilled cheese sandwiches actually be grilled? I.e. on a charcoal grate over hot coals? Or is pan frying the recommended method?

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Can grilled cheese sandwiches actually be grilled? I.e. on a charcoal grate over hot coals? Or is pan frying the recommended method?
I've done it , but I actually think they come out better on a griddle. The bread really needs to fry in the butter, in my opinion.

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