When it comes to grilled cheese the basics are essential. One needs good bread, good cheese, a good cooking fat, and the right type of cooking heat. If you’ve ever had a bad grilled cheese sandwich, Italian style or not, then the panino was probably lacking in one or more of the items above!
Our grilled cheese, Italian style, features good bread from a local bakery, homemade mozzarella, extra virgin olive and vegetable oil, and a large grill pan and makeshift press (viz., a pan lid). And, the most important element, patience (if you’re Italian please take special note)!
Here’s how we create our ultimate grilled cheese sandwich:
- 1 medium to large sized whole milk mozzarella (preferably made the same day and not refrigerated)
- Any good sliced bread (about ½ - ¾ inch slices)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Vegetable oil
- Start by heating your medium sized grill (or fry) pan over medium heat; the heat source is critical as you don't want a high heat creating a overly hot pan (this will char the outside and not melt the cheese). Add vegetable oil and heat slowly.
- Slice the mozzarella into thin pieces and place on the bread (creating about two layer). Season the mozzarella with a bit of freshly ground black pepper and Kosher salt. Drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on both sides of the bread. Place the sandwich in your pan and squeeze down with a heavy lid. Let cook for 4-6 minutes on each side. The bread should be nicely toasted on the exterior and the cheese should be liquid and have an "ooze" like quality!
- Cut the sandwich in half and serve with a salad or soup.