I figured it would be for the best if I started things out fairly simple with my first grilled cheese offering on this blog. Something basic, not too ambitious. So here you go:
The bread is of the fairly hearty twelve-grain variety and the cheese is of the slightly-aged Gouda sort known as Vintage Van Gogh. Made by a company in Wisconsin called Roth Käse, this is a Gouda cheese that’s been aged for anywhere between six and eight months. Which is no time at all compared to a lot of aged cheeses, some Gouda cheese varieties are aged for several years before they’re ready to be eaten.
Gouda is a semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk. Dutch in origin, cheese bearing the name “Gouda” is now made worldwide. It’s generally yellow in color and is creamy and fairly mild-tasting although aged Goudas tend to develop stronger, sometimes caramel-y flavors. It’s a great, all-purpose kind of cheese. Melts well, easy to slice, found in just about every grocery store, available in a variety of flavorings (smoked, jalapeño, herb, etc), is reasonably priced.
So enough about the cheese, what about the sandwich?
I used a 12-grain bread because it’s what I had lying around in the kitchen. I always, always, always toast my bread a little bit before I assemble the sandwich because that way it won’t get super soggy once it’s on the stove. I buttered the outsides of the toasted bread with a little Earth Balance and coated the insides with some dijon mustard. I have a tendency to put mustard on everything but it’s a delicious complement to cheese. I grated the cheese (it melts better that way, I’ve found) and got to grillin’.
The trick to the perfect grilled cheese is to keep the heat on the low side and have a bit of patience. Turn it up too high and you’ll most likely burn the bread and not melt the cheese enough. Gross! So turn your heat setting to medium-low and grill each side of the sandwich for a couple of minutes. Check it every now and again to make sure it’s not turning black. Simple enough!
I wasn’t kidding when I said it melted well! And of course it was delicious. The robustness of the bread, combined with the dijon and the smooth, nutty flavors of the cheese made for a fantastic lunch!