Sure, you can make a perfectly serviceable grilled cheese sandwich with a couple slices of Wonder Bread and some Kraft Singles, but just as burgers have been elevated to something approaching an art form in recent years, the same can be done with this always delicious staple.
As the executive chef at the Graham Elliot and Grahamwich restaurants in Chicago, I have spent a lot of time experimenting, and I am happy to report that I’ve created what I believe to be that art-level grilled cheese.
Yes, it’ll take more ingredients, more preparation and more time, but if you really want to blow your friends’ minds (or the mind of that special lady in your life), it’s totally worth it. Without further ado, here’s how to make what just may be the world’s best grilled cheese sandwich. As you might guess, the magic is in the tomato marmalade.
White Pullman Bread, 2 slices
4 year aged Wisconsin cheddar, 4 oz shredded
Shave prosciutto 1/2 oz, sliced paper thin
Wisconsin cheese curds, 1 oz
Tomato marmalade 2 oz
Tomato = 1900 g (67 oz)
Onion = 200 g (7 oz)
Garlic = 15 g (0.5 oz)
Vinegar = 950 g (33.5 oz)
Sugar = 475 g (17 oz)
To prepare the tomato marmalade, combine the tomato, onion, garlic, vinegar in sugar, place in a small pot, and set to simmer. (It’ll take 5 to 7 hours to reach marmalade consistency, so have the first two Godfather flicks cued up on DVD.) Make sure to stir so that it does not scorch the bottom of the pot. Puree in a high-quality blender such as a Vita Prep and season with salt. Note: this will make a huge batch of the marmalade, but you will only need about two ounces for the sandwich.
Once the marmalade is ready, you can switch to regular grilled cheese mode. Spread the marmalade on one side of each bread slice, add the cheddar, prosciutto and cheese curds between the slices and grill in a skillet until the cheese melts completely. Serve on the finest plate in the house, and take a bow.
Editor’s note: To make additional sandwiches, simply double, triple or quadruple the ingredients and go from there.
Editor’s note, part 2: Learn a few other great grilled cheese sandwich recipes below.