Grilled cheese is one of the first dishes many people learn to make. White bread, sliced cheese, and margarine are a great place to start, but eventually you may want to get fancy with cheeses like gruyère and taleggio and all manners of bread. We've been making grilled cheese sandwiches for a long time and have only just now discovered mayonnaise as an alternative to oil or butter. Boy, do we feel late to the party.
While it probably won’t become your default, you may be surprised and delighted to discover just how much mayonnaise brings to grilled cheese. In addition to being tasty, mayonnaise provides a few practical advantages. First, it’s spreadable straight out of the refrigerator. This makes it very easy to apply to the bread in precise quantities, perfectly tailored to the surface area of your sandwich, producing a crisp grilled cheese that’s unlikely to become excessively oily.
Second, mayonnaise usually has a higher smoke point than butter. Fat that is allowed to heat beyond its smoke point doesn’t taste as good and is probably less healthful. Using a more heat-tolerant fat is therefore recommended for grilled cheese. Finally, mayonnaise has a uniquely tangy richness that adds quite a surprising amount of depth and dimension to the humble grilled cheese sandwich. Don’t use too much though. Unless you are a diehard mayonnaise lover you may find excessive mayo too dominant in flavor, especially with milder breads and cheeses.
If you haven't tried this method, don’t wait any longer. It’s a simple, subtle way to make an old standby into something extra special.
- 2 slices bread
- 3 ounces cheese
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- Salt (to taste)
Gather the ingredients.
Put the cheese between the slices of bread.
Spread the mayonnaise in a thin layer onto the outside of the sandwich, top and bottom.
In a skillet over medium heat, toast the sandwich for a few minutes on each side until golden brown and the cheese has melted. Press the sandwich, if you like, to aid the melting of the cheese. Use a spatula to press it down or put something heavy on top such as a smaller pan.
When the sandwich is well browned and oozing cheese, remove to a plate. Sprinkle the outside with a pinch of salt and serve immediately.
- Mayonnaise's heat tolerance depends on the type of oil the mayonnaise contains. Usually refined, heat-tolerant oils like canola and soybean oil are used in mayonnaise but check the label to be sure.
- You can easily make your own mayonnaise and put whatever kind of oil in it you like.