Grilled cheese aren’t exactly common around here. I’m more of a fresh-ingredients type vegan and generally don’t use recipes that include “substitution” food. But every now and then I just want something that’s not entirely wholesome and natural. Mostly these things involve chocolate, but on occasion I have been know to want a grilled cheese. Last night was one such instance, mostly because I was sick and who doesn’t love a grilled cheese when they’re sick?
While the process is pretty simple (cut bread, put cheese on bread, put sandwich in skillet, cook till brown) there’s something extra that you can do to elevate a grilled cheese from good to awesome.
The secret? Mayonaise (or in my case, veganaise but for simplicity and appeal to people other than vegans, we’ll just stick with mayo).
I thought my dad was pretty crazy the first time he tested it out on us, but it makes a huge difference. It lends more of a layered flavor to the sandwich than just plain butter, and takes a simple dish from childish to artisan. I like to put mayo on both sides of the bread, that way the bread is very flavorful.
Using good bread is the other secret. A grilled cheese is boring (and pretty gross, in my opinion) with just wonder bread. Spice it up with artisan breads like french bread, sourdough and rye.
These tricks also work in paninis, BLTs and pretty much every other grilled sandwich.
(For anyone wondering, we use Daiya cheese for our vegan cheese needs. It’s pretty good. Like I mentioned, we’re not big on “substitutions”, so it’s not our favorite, but unlike many other fake cheeses, it’s soy free making it easier on our stomachs and just a bit more flavorful.)