With the proliferation of fancy full dinners during Thanksgiving and Christmas, and all the misplaced Christmas parties in between, most people get in the mood for some pretty basic menu items along the way. One standard of simplicity is the grilled cheese sandwich, and here’s the way my brother Victor likes to do it. (Warning: this is not health food. In fact, I’ll probably need to go run a few miles after just describing it.)
Choose your bread. Something white and smooth usually works best.
Part of the appeal of a grilled cheese sandwich is that you can experiment with different cheeses, or use just whatever happens to be on hand at the time. A recommended combination is sharp cheddar and mozzarella. Slice your cheese into one-quarter inch tiles and arrange so that it covers one bread slice.
Install the top bread slice and coat both exterior bread surfaces with a spreadable lubricant such as margarine or butter. Place the uncooked sandwich onto a hot waffle iron. Close the lid and apply a little pressure to mash the grid into the bread. (Please note that you should use a regular waffle iron, not Belgian.)
It’s done when you hear melted cheese sizzling on the iron. Remove the sandwich with a fork, and then use the fork to salvage the cooked cheese splatter. This is the basic version of the Waffle Cheese Sandwich, enjoyed by Patterson kids for nearly forty years.
The waffle grid achieves two favorable results: 1) More surface area is created, which translates into increased cooked buttery flavor. 2) The sandwich is not as flimsy as regular grilled cheese because the waffle pattern gives it better rigidity, much as corrugated tin is sturdier than flat tin.
Victor adds some notes about options:
Before cooking, toss in a few pepperoni slices and a smearing of pizza sauce. / If you don’t have actual cheese on hand, “singles” slices work pretty well, too. / Try a three-cheese blend. / Use rye bread with swiss and gouda.