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How far can we take a grilled cheese until it's no longer a grilled cheese and just a grilled [insert ingredients here] with cheese? That was the subject of most of the debate on yesterday's thread about a muffuletta grilled cheese.
I'm of the mind that so long as it's...
- A sandwich consisting of hot, melted cheese in between two slices of bread,
- Griddled in fat (preferably butter) until golden brown on both sides, and
- Not already a sandwich claimed by another name (for instance, a patty melt, a croque monsieur, or a Reuben).
...then it's still a grilled cheese sandwich. I mean, does a pizza cease to be a pizza when you add toppings to it? You may not like said toppings, but it's still a pizza.
Feel free to continue this friendly banter in the comments. This is a deep-seated idealogical disagreement that may never be resolved.
I suggest we talk it out over a tray of Grilled Cheese with Roasted Pineapple, Ham, and Swiss sandwiches. It's like Hawaiian pizza, but without the crust, the tomato sauce, or the shame of knowing you're that guy who ordered the Hawaiian pizza and loved it.
Pan-roasting the pineapple slices in butter helps sweeten them up and leaves a thin sugary sheen in the skillet, which you then use to coat the ham slices before sandwiching them all together with Swiss cheese.
Like all good grilled cheese sandwiches, this one gets buttered on all four sides (inside and out).
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About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.