There is something so comforting about grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s one of the first things I was taught to make for myself, and it’s melty inside and crispy outside helped propel us through our college days.

The beauty of the GC is that you can make it as simple or complex as you’d like. In the mood for a classic? Grab two slices of American and butter up that white bread honey. Looking for a southwestern twist? Toss some pepper jack cheese on sliced corn bread, add pickled jalapenos and set your griddle to sizzle.

We were looking for a quick weeknight meal that needed to include a few leftover slices of the Walnut Wheat Levain from Firebrand Bakery. This stuff is insanely delicious on it’s own, but made into a GC… whoa drool, it’s wild good.

We shaved a few slices of goat gouda, layered some smoked Tofurky, then slathered leftover caramelized onions, black bean puree, a dollop of Dijon, and a bit’o pepper jack to top it all off. It hit the skillet on medium-low for twenty minutes per side to ensure all of the ingredients had a chance to heat up and melt. Because these sandwiches were super-deluxe big bites, we set a cast iron lid on top to keep everything warming up together. My method of making grilled cheese in earlier days was to crank the skillet up to high and enjoy a nearly burnt outside, and barely melted inside. With older age comes maturity, and these days it’s understood that a lower heat setting and patience ensures a perfect GC every time.

To balance out the rich sandwiches, we paired them with a quick arugula and beet salad, and proceeded to polish off every. last. crumb.

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