These days I make a good ole' grilled cheese with a loaf of dense country-style white bread and a little American cheese for good measure. I marry this classic couple with a heaping dose of grated Swiss and cheddar cheeses and create a frico-inspired crust with Parmigiano-Reggiano and salted butter. My cheese choices range from the bottom of the barrel to the top of the heap, but the resulting sandwich leaves little to complain about. This glorified grilled cheese has a shatteringly crisp exterior and the gorgeous melty center we all crave. -- Melissa Elsmo
This recipe by Melissa Elsmo originally appeared in The Pioneer Press.
- 8 1/2-inch thick slices country white bread
- 3/4 Cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 stick salted butter at room temperature
- 8 slices American cheese
- 1 Cup shredded Swiss cheese
- 1 Cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 250 F.
Step 2: Spread butter generously over one side of a piece of bread. Sprinkle some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on to your work surface and press the buttered side of the bread into the cheese until it adheres to the butter.
Step 3: Place a torn slice of American cheese on the unbuttered side of the bread and top with 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar and Swiss cheese. Top the shredded cheese with a second slice of American cheese.
Step 4: Spread another slide of bread with butter and press into the shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano. Place the bread, cheese side up, on the sandwich.
Step 5: Repeat steps 2-4 until you have four sandwiches.
Step 6: Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sandwiches (cooking in batches if needed) to pan and allow to cook until butter melts and cheese on the outside of the bread becomes golden and very crispy (about 3 minutes). Flip the sandwiches and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes on the second side until the cheese is crispy.
Step 7: Transfer the sandwiches to a parchment lined sheet pan and place in the oven for 12-15 minutes until the cheese in the center of the sandwich is a gorgeous melty mess.