Grilled Cheese Sandwich
When someone says "Grilled Cheese Sandwich", most people immediately have a negative reaction, thinking of a vile composition of flaccid white bread, and yucky plastic cheese, simmered in grease until it's limp and soggy.
This isn't like that. I have to admit I stole the recipe (so what's new) from The Outlaw Cook. Sadly, the recipe is no longer there, so the link points to the Internet Wayback Machine. Sadly, their web site isn't as wonderful a site as it was before it was redesigned. I sure hope they'll un-redesign it. (I do hope people won't say that about this site after we finish our redesign.) But... on to the recipe...
We start with a good bread. And we slice it into thick slices. I like almost any good bread for this, but one of my favorites is the Simple Sourdough Pan Bread that the Friends of Carl have on their web page. It has good crumb, toasts well, and has an excellent sourdough taste.
The next ingredient is a good cheese. I like a sharp, or even better an extra-sharp, cheddar. You may prefer other cheeses. While I prefer a decent cheese, I'm not ready to use cheese shop top-drawer cheese for this. You may be more extravagant, and that's OK. Anyway, knock yourself out. Slice the cheese so it fits on the bread without hanging over.
Next, put a skillet on medium heat. I prefer a cast iron skillet, although it did confuse the auto-exposure camera I was using. While the skillet is heating, generously butter both sides of all the pieces of bread. Start frying the bread with one of the inner sides of the bread. That is, pick two slices that were together, and start with one of the inner sides. That way, the bread will fit together nicely.
Once the bread is nicely browned, flip it over. You may want to sprinkle it with hot pepper. I'm using Chile Pequin flakes. Next, put the cheese on the bread, and then start frying the other piece of bread, starting with the inner side. Once the two pieces of bread are nicely browned, put the second piece of bread on top of the cheese.
Then flip the sandwich over to brown the remaining side. Again, fry the bread until it's a nice shade. Next remove the sandwich from the skillet, put it on a plate and serve with some pickles. If you did it right, it should be crisp, full of sourdough tastes, butter tastes, full of gooey cheese, and be a true delight.... with or without the peppers.
Update note: I've had a number of years more practice since I put this together. I think it's time to redo it! Keep an eye out here! It is lucky for me that a grilled cheese sandwich will taste great even if it is a bit of a mess!