Grilled cheese is one of those foods that takes most people back to childhood, with the crunch of the toasty, buttery bread and, depending on what cheese you prefer, either smooth and creamy or stretchy, stringy fun. I am of the stretchy, stringy, tangy cheeses. Back then, we usually had a dill pickle with it at a minimum, and often with a bowl of tomato soup. Then I would throw some cheese in the soup, too. Mmmmm. Back then, we (being in Michigan) didn’t know what avocados were. I don’t think I tasted one until my sister came home from living in California (probably 20 years ago) and introduced us to guacamole. Instant addiction. Of course, that was about the same time she also taught us to make homemade salsa (more on that later). That trick she learned from a mexican woman she had become aquainted with. We learned a LOT from that, all good. Since then, we use avocados with MANY other things, and adding more all the time.
Cheddar is always good, but what I really love is a blend of cheeses. At least two, sometimes three cheeses on a sandwich, each with a slightly different characteristic from the others. The tangy cheddar, with the nuttiness of swiss and the ultra melty creamy fontina all come together to form a beautiful blend. Perfection? Close, but not quite yet.
Throw those on a really good crusty bread (I make my own), and then start adding other goodies…..Grilled cheese sandwiches are always enhanced by a good tomato and what? Oh….smoky, salty, crunchewy bacon? There’s the start of the little happy jig. And if that isn’t close enough, slice some fresh avocado on there.
When building this masterpiece, I stagger the layers of cheese between the other goodies. It helps it stick together and makes it easier to eat. Sort of…. I have also used havarti, mozzerella, pepper jack, whatever you have usually works.
Then, the cast iron skillet does the best grilled cheese, of course.
- 2 slices good crusty bread - whatever bread you prefer really
- Cheeses, I used cheddar, swiss and fontina this time.
- Sliced ripe tomato
- Bacon, cooked to your preferred degree of delicious
- Slices of ripe but still firm avocado
- Butter for outsides of bread
- Sprinkle of sea salt
- Lay your bread out and start with a layer of cheese, then bacon, then another cheese, then tomato and avocado (liiitle sprinkle of salt on the avocado depending on the saltiness of the bacon), then another cheese.
- Put the second slice of bread on top and spread with a light but complete layer of butter.
- Place sandwich, buttered side down in the hot skillet. Once the skillet is hot, keep the heat low. With the added ingredients in there, you don't want to scorch the bread before all that cheese melts. Butter the OUTSIDE of the second piece of bread and put it back on top of the sandwich, buttered side out. Keeping the heat on low, cover with a lid. After a few minutes, peek and, if the bottom has reached your favorite degree of toasty, carefully flip the sandwich over, grilling the other side. Make sure your cheese is getting melty. If it's browning too fast and the cheese is not melted, lower the heat and cover the skillet for a few minutes.